Tottenham enter the final day of the Premier League season knowing they will put Arsenal in the top four if they avoid defeat by the already relegated Norwich City
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Antonio Conte claims Tottenham would have performed a ‘miracle’ if they qualify for the Champions League.
Conte even insisted that if Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy had asked him to finish in the top four when he took over, he would have replied: “Are you kidding?”
Tottenham were ninth when Conte took charge last November and were five points adrift of the top four and seemed to have blown their chances again with Arsenal four points clear with just three games to go.
However, Conte’s magical sense of victory has instilled a new mentality in the Tottenham squad which should ensure they don’t ‘spursy’ and collapse on the final day at Norwich.
When asked if he knew what the term ‘Spursy’ meant, Tottenham boss Conte said: ‘I’m trying to shorten that. We have to show the development in this regard on Sunday.
“I don’t forget what happened in the past, I remember Manchester City in the last game when they lost to QPR… It’s not easy in England. I remember when City lost the FA Cup to Wigan.
“I like to set big, big goals, not minimal goals. I’ve never said that before, but I said we need a miracle and I said we have to fight for a place in the UEFA (Europa League).
“But I said before the last nine games that we are ready to fight for a Champions League place, we are in that race and I think we understand now that something has changed with everyone.
“I remember very well when I spoke to the club, to Daniel, at that moment the situation wasn’t so good and the club asked me to help them. And to try to find a solution to improve the team in many aspects.
“If you remember, we didn’t score many goals, Harry Kane had only scored at that time and we conceded a lot, many, many problems.
“Obviously if he (Levy) had asked me ‘I want to go to the Champions League’ then realistically there’s only one thing I can say to him at that moment… ‘Are you kidding?’
“That’s the truth because we’re talking about England, a situation in this league that’s very, very difficult because there are four top teams. If one of these top teams doesn’t miss the season, it’s going to be very difficult to get in.”
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Tottenham also backed Conte in January by signing Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus and that could also be crucial in convincing the former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager to stay on for the long term.
Conte added: “In January it’s not easy to listen to your manager 100 per cent and that’s why I want to say thank you because the club believed in what I said, in the situation we have to try to move forward improve – not many things but the right things and I think we’ve done that.
“But I know very well that it’s not easy for the club to make the coach happy, it’s very, very difficult! It was the right case and now repaying the trust of the club, the trust of the players, the trust of the fans makes me happy. But there is the last step, to be very, very happy, yes.
“I’m happy and I want to say thank you for the opportunity to work with this group of players and with this modern club, with these fans and this atmosphere. It’s been incredible and it definitely makes me happy and that’s important. If a situation makes me happy, it’s important.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/tottenham-conte-top-four-arsenal-27025244 Antonio Conte makes 'miracle' claim with Tottenham close to beating Arsenal to fourth