Conte repeats ‘very difficult’ trophy claim despite noting where Tottenham have ‘especially’ improved

Antonio Conte standing on the touchline for Tottenham

Antonio Conte said he learned he can “count on” his Tottenham squad in their Carabao Cup quarter-final win, but admitted it will still be “very difficult” to win a trophy.

Tottenham saw off a strong challenge from West Ham to progress to the semi-finals. Beaten finalists last year, they are now one step away from another Wembley showdown.

Steven Bergwijn gave them the lead before Jarrod Bowen hit back for the visitors. Lucas Moura though responded just as quickly with what proved to be the winning goal.

Conte has a lot of work to do in the long-term with Tottenham, but continuing a cup run shows some signs of progress.

He knows it will be tough to go all the way and win it, but has seen encouraging signs from his players in challenging circumstances.

Conte told Sky Sports: “It’s good for Tottenham to reach the semi-finals of this competition. You can see the names of these teams that have reached the semi-finals – Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal with us – so every side wants to try to lift this trophy.

“When I was at Chelsea this trophy was not second, but we used to play young players that did not start in the 11. Now I’m seeing in England to win a trophy is very difficult.

“We have had to beat an important team like West Ham and they eliminated [Manchester] United and [Manchester] City. In England it’s very difficult to win something.

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“For sure we can do better but I’ve seen improvements in some parts, especially when in possession of the ball. We tried to control the game and we scored the first goal, it was an amazing goal involving many players.

“The performance was good and it’s important to recover. We played many players that have had Covid. They kept the intensity but we have to manage the situation very well.

“Today was good and important for me that I know I can count on a squad of many players.”

Moura wants to win trophy with Conte

While Conte believes there are challenges ahead for Tottenham if they want to lift silverware, goalscorer Moura is hoping they can achieve it together.

After the win, he said: “It means a lot. It was a big game, a derby. It’s a competition we can win so let’s fight for this.

“We started very well, conceded a goal by our mistake but controlled the game in the first half. In the second half they tried to score but we were solid and suffered together.

“Last season we had the chance to get this trophy but in the final we didn’t play very well. But now is another opportunity, another season, another manager, another squad and I think we’re better now.

“A trophy is my objective, I think we deserve it but we need to show it on the pitch.”

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