Tottenham boss Antonio Conte admits he will have to make his players ‘suffer’ upon their next defeat, in order to install a ‘winning mentality’ at the club, writes the TeamTalk.
Tottenham have not won a trophy since the League Cup back in 2008. They have also failed to qualify for the Champions League in each of the last two seasons, and those two factors are why Conte has been brought in.
The Italian is a serial winner, having taken Juventus, Chelsea and Inter to league titles during his illustrious career.
But Spurs may be his hardest challenge yet as they have gone so long without winning silverware.
The North London outfit are still in the FA Cup after beating Brighton 3-1 at home earlier this month. They will come up against Chris Wilder’s Middlesbrough in the fifth round.
Spurs are also in with a shout of a top-four spot, thanks to their last-gasp 3-2 victory over Manchester City.
Conte’s men were pegged back twice at the Etihad, through goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez for the league leaders. However, the visitors showed plenty of fighting spirit as Harry Kane headed a stoppage-time winner past Ederson to give his team all the spoils.
The dramatic win kept Spurs in the race for UCL qualification, although some serious ground still needs to be made up. They are seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with three games in hand.
Spurs travel to Burnley on Wednesday evening, and at the pre-match press conference, Conte was asked about his team’s mindset.
“You have to suffer. If you don’t suffer, it means that you don’t want to improve your winning mentality,” he said (via the Daily Express). “The situation has to be different when you win and when you lose.
“Otherwise if the atmosphere is always the same and it’s always joy and celebrations, I think it will be very difficult to install the right mentality, the winning mentality, in a team. I repeat – always in a balance.
“We lost two games against Wolverhampton and Southampton and then we won against City.
“The first step to change your mentality is after a loss … you have to understand that you lost a game. That is different and for sure the atmosphere has to be different.”
Conte added: “When you are in a club that is used to winning, what happens when they lose?
“For example, Bayern Munich. They were dominating this season in Germany and then they lost 4-2 in the league at Bochum and then they had a 1-1 draw in the Champions League at Red Bull Salzburg.
“I read that the players were very, very, angry. They said: ‘No. We can’t continue this way. We have to be strong.’ And you show you are feeling that.
“I think that slowly, slowly the players here are understanding this difference but it is very clear in top clubs.”