New Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has revealed the dire situation at Spurs after they were beaten 2-1 by Slovenian minnows NS Mura in the UEFA Conference League.
The Italian arguably would have been a strong contender for the now vacant Manchester United job and Thursday’s defeat will have hit hard about the challenge he faces at Spurs.
Tomi Horvat had put Mura ahead early, with Spurs reduced to 10 men for Ryan Sessegnon’s red card, but Harry Kane levelled with 20 minutes to go.
However, Mura grabbed a stunning late winner from Amadej Marosa, leaving Conte frustrated.
“After three weeks I am starting to understand the situation,” Conte told reporters. “It is not simple. At this moment the level at Tottenham is not so high.
“I am happy to stay here but we have to work a lot to improve the quality of the squad. We are Tottenham but there is an important gap with the top teams but I am not scared.”
Spurs must beat group winners Stade Rennes on the final matchday to assure their progress, or better Vitesse’s result against Mura.
Meanwhile in the Europa League, Leicester City moved into top spot in their group with a 3-1 home win over Legia Warsaw, although that remains open.
West Ham United confirmed top spot in Group H with a comfortable 2-0 win at Rapid Vienna behind closed doors.
Celtic led but were beaten 3-2 by Bayer Leverkusen meaning they are eliminated, while Rangers eased past Sparta Prague 2-0 to book their knockout spot.
Monaco, Real Betis, Galatasaray, Lazio and Olympiacos also all booked their places in the next phase.