Carabao Cup semi-final: Antonio Conte reveals plan to close ‘gap’ between Chelsea and Spurs

Antonio Conte wants to close the gap between Spurs and his former club Chelsea.

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte says there is a way to close the gap between his side and European champions Chelsea, ahead of the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final tie.

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Conte has been asking for time and patience from fans since taking over the side from Nuno Espirito Santo in November.

After the defeat against Chelsea, he highlighted the chasm in class, but has now admitted it will take a collective effort to close the gap.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur during the Carabao Cup Semi Final (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

He said: “I am not stupid enough to understand there is a big gap with the important teams in England.

“To reduce the gap you have to improve the squad, improve the quality of the training and the work.

“You have to have a project and to have a programme.

“At this moment we have to work a lot in many aspects to try to bring the gap to a close level.

“At Chelsea they have worked very well to win the Champions League, and they have invested a lot of money in the last few years.

“Then after they won the Champions League, they still invested a lot of money to improve their squad.

“When you do this it means you create a gap with other teams.

“Chelsea have created this gap with other teams and us.”

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during the Premier League match (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The French goalkeeper’s contract will run out at the end of this season and there were doubts as to whether he would carry on playing in north London, but Conte revealed talks were progressing well.

“I think so, I think that they have started to talk,” he said.

“You know very well what I think about Hugo.

“Also previously I spoke and said that he’s our captain, he is a top goalkeeper for us, he has great experience.

“He knows Tottenham very well. He loves this shirt and this badge.

“For me he is an important player and I’m sure that they are going to find a solution for him to continue to play with Tottenham.”

Tottenham will take on Chelsea tonight in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, with Spurs knowing that they will need three unanswered goals or a high-scoring goal difference to reach the final.

Spurs have not won a trophy since 2008, but there are growing hopes that serial winner Conte would be able to end that drought.

But the defeat at Stamford Bridge means they will need to play above themselves if they are to reach Wembley this year.