Conte: Still 'very difficult' for Spurs to win the Carabao Cup

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte admits it will still be ‘very difficult’ for his side to win the Carabao Cup after edging past West Ham United and drawing former club Chelsea in the semi-finals

  • Tottenham defeated West Ham United 2-1 in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals
  • Antonio Conte will now face his former side Chelsea in the semi-finals in January
  • Conte admits win was not a perfect performance but ‘improvements’ were made 

Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte admits his side still have plenty of work to do if they wish to end the club’s 13-year wait for a trophy.

Spurs edged past West Ham United in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday with a 2-1 win following goals from Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura and a dogged defensive display in the second half to keep a dominant Hammers side at bay.

Spurs will now take on Conte’s former club Chelsea in the semi-finals of the competition next month, and with Arsenal facing Liverpool in the other semi-final the Italian knows there will be no easy route to lifting the cup at Wembley a month later and a drought that stretches back to the 2008 League Cup success against the Blues.

Son Heung-min applauds supporters after Tottenham’s 2-1 victory over West Ham United

Antonio Conte has now guided Spurs into the semi-final of the Carabao Cup to face Chelsea

‘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,’ he said.

‘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.

Steven Bergwijn had given his side the lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

After Jarrod Bowen’s equaliser, Lucas Moura (left) restored Tottenham’s advantage

Spurs were in disarray prior to Conte’s arrival, with Nuno Espirito Santo sacked just three months into the campaign following a string of poor results and lifeless performances.

But Spurs are starting to look an improved team with more confidence under Conte, having seen qualification for the semi-finals come just three days after a pulsating 2-2 draw with Liverpool. 

The match against the Reds was their first since December 5 after Covid ripped through the club forcing matches against Brighton and Leicester to be postponed, and another against Rennes in the Conference League to be cancelled. 

Spurs will now take on Chelsea who defeated Brentford to move into the last four

Conte congratulates Oliver Skipp after substituting him following a solid midfield display

‘For sure we can do better but I’ve seen improvements in some parts, especially when in possession of the ball’, Conte added.

‘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.’

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