Tottenham striker Harry Kane is excited at the prospect of working with Antonio Conte and says the Italian’s appointment shows “great ambition”.
Conte was named as Spurs’ new head coach earlier this week following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo and won his first game in charge on Thursday as they beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-2 in the Europa Conference League.
For Spurs to get such a high-quality manager, who has won league titles at Juventus Chelsea and Inter Milan, feels like a big coup given Tottenham’s current state.
They were challenging Chelsea for honours when Conte was in charge at Stamford Bridge but they have lost their seat at the top table of English football.
Kane’s form has also suffered a slump this season, scoring one goal in nine Premier League games, but he is relishing the prospect of working with Conte.
“I am a player that always believes in myself and always believes in my ability,” he said. “I am 28 years old, I have still got a lot to learn, a lot to improve on.
“It’s not been the start I wanted, the team wanted or the club wanted so we all know that. We all have to take responsibility for it as players.
“It is not something I am worried about, I will keep working and I am really excited about working with this manager.
“I am sure he can improve me and that is an exciting thing when you have done what I have done in the game so far and still feel like there is more to come, that is definitely exciting so I am looking forward to it.”
Kane’s poor form this season has been attributed to the disruptive summer he endured, returning late to pre-season training after the European Championship as he tried to force a move to Manchester City.
The England captain has said he wants to win trophies and play in the biggest matches and Conte’s arrival could be the key to unlocking that possibility at Spurs.
“It shows great ambition to be honest, his resume speaks for itself, everyone knows how highly thought of he is and what he has done as a manager in the game,” Kane said.
“You have to respect that. He will work as hard as he can to improve us as players but it is about us as players, taking it in, learning, doing more on the pitch, doing more in training, doing more away from training, whether it is recovery, making sure we give ourselves every opportunity to win.
“We have a manager and a club that believe in us. He definitely brings a lot of passion, a lot of determination, whether that’s on the training pitch or in meetings, in the dressing room.
“His resume speaks for itself, he has won trophies at the highest level with the biggest clubs so everyone is excited to learn, excited to work under him and that passion he shows every day, every meeting, every training session is what you thrive on.
“You go into games wanting to put your body on the line for him and you can feel that already.
“It has only been three days but he is a fantastic manager. We haven’t reached the standards we have wanted to over the last couple of years, but we hope that this manager can help us turn it around.
“But it’s about us and how we take it in because he has done it, he has nothing to prove. He has done it on the biggest stage with the biggest teams so he will give us everything he has to improve us and now it is down to us as players to have no excuses.
“We have to make sure every minute of our lives we are trying to improve and win for this team and that is the only way we are going to move forward.”