Chelsea boss Conte envious of Tottenham's foundation
Antonio Conte wants to emulate the work of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham and build "a good foundation" at Chelsea.
Since the appointment of Pochettino ahead of the 2014-15 season, Spurs have developed into the most consistent side in the Premier League and were serious title challengers in the previous two campaigns.
Much has been made of Tottenham's lack of activity in the transfer window, but the spine of the team – goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, centre-back pairing Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane – has been retained with minimal fuss.
Conte believes Chelsea need to replace some key losses from the past campaigns in order to match the strength running through the heart of Pochettino's side.
"I think Tottenham are doing a great job. I think Pochettino is doing a great job and he created a good foundation for this club. I think we must do the same, because now we don't have this foundation like Tottenham," said the Italian prior to the two sides going head to head in the Premier League at Wembley on Sunday.
"We must work a lot, we must improve a lot and to try to do the same. I have a great respect for Tottenham because they are doing a fantastic job and for the last two years they have challenged for the title. It's normal when you work very well you have this type of result.
"I want to help my club to build the same solid foundation because now we don't have this. We need time, Chelsea needs time, to work, to improve, to create this basis and for this reason I think this season will be difficult for us because we have started again another process.
"We lost a lot of strong players that created the previous basis, like John Terry, [John Obi] Mikel, [Branislav] Ivanovic, [Didier] Drogba – we lost a lot of players in the last few years and now we need to find the right way to build.
"It's right to know that we must have patience, to build something important for the players but overall for the future because now we don't have this solid foundation. We have to work very hard to improve our squad."
Asked whether he could look to the transfer market again to improve the number of options available to him, Conte said: "I think that my task is to work with my players to improve my team and my players.
"This is my task and then I know the club is working and is trying to do their best in the transfer market.
"I have to continue to be focused on the pitch with my players, to work, to improve the players and to improve the team. At the end of the transfer market we'll see what happens, but I'll be happy."