Spurs must give Conte a chance if they want to see his best, says Cole

Ashley Cole urges Tottenham to give Antonio Conte what he needs if they want to see his best… as Michael Dawson claims ex-Chelsea boss is ‘hurting’ after losing League Cup semi-final first leg to his former club

  • Tottenham lost 2-0 in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final against Chelsea 
  • Boss Antonio Conte described Spurs as a ‘middle team’ following their defeat 
  • The Italian won the league at both Inter Milan and Chelsea during spells there 
  • Ashley Cole insists Spurs must give Conte what he needs to succeed at the club 

Tottenham have got to give Antonio Conte what he needs if they want to him to produce the success he had at Inter Milan and Chelsea in north London, according to Ashley Cole.

The Italian gave a very honest and unfiltered opinion after seeing his side lose 2-0 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, branding them a ‘middle’ team following his chastening return to Stamford Bridge and calling for time and patience.

The defeat saw Conte – who won the league with Inter and Chelsea during his spells at both clubs – suffer his first loss as Spurs boss in domestic competitions since he took charge in November.

Tottenham have been urged by Ashley Cole to give Antonio Conte (above) what he needs to succeed

The Italian gave a very honest opinion after seeing his side lose 2-0 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea

But former Chelsea left-back Cole insists he is unsure whether the former Italy boss will be able to reproduce his previous success at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, admitting they are far behind the top English clubs as it stands. 

‘Individually, they [Tottenham] are behind Chelsea,’ Cole told Sky Sports.

‘Conte hopes for patience and time. Every manager wants that and I totally agree that if Tottenham fans and Tottenham as a club want to see the best Antonio Conte, you have got to give him a chance.

‘We saw at Inter and at Chelsea, when he is given what he needs, he can produce. 

Conte won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2017 and won Serie A last term with Inter Milan

Cole (above) is unsure if he can recreate such success at Spurs, but said he must be given tools

‘Whether he can do it at Tottenham I don’t know, but he needs time because the level I feel is not at the level of Chelsea, let alone Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal… not there yet.’

Former Spurs centre-back Michael Dawson however insisted Conte’s arrival at the club has seen them close the gap on the Blues, but admitted Thomas Tuchel’s men are still ahead.

But he was more critical of the sluggish first-half performance, in which they made defensive errors for both Kai Havertz’s opener and Ben Davies’ own goal.

Dawson claimed it was always going to be an ‘uphill task’ for his former side even before making their defensive errors, given that their win at Stamford Bridge in April 2018 remains their sole victory at that ground in 36 matches across all competitions since 1990. 

Former Spurs defender Michael Dawson says Conte will be ‘hurting’ after losing to his ex-club

‘He [Conte] is hurting, he knows how far Spurs are behind Chelsea,’ Dawson said. ‘He has said it before in his press conferences.

‘You are going there [Stamford Bridge] as underdogs, which they were tonight despite their good run of form.

‘Conte has done incredibly and he has closed the gap, but Chelsea are still ahead of them, 10 points in the Premier League is a lot, and the team he is playing have been together a lot longer than what Antonio has, so he is trying to get his points across.

‘But when you start a game in that manner against a really good Chelsea team, it is an uphill battle. It is always an uphill battle because the record says it is when you go to Stamford Bridge, it is terrible, and he was hurting and very, very honest.’ 

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