Conte says Mauricio Pochettino can be one of the world's best coaches and
admits he found he shared similar ideas with the Tottenham manager on a
visit to their training ground.
Chelsea face Spurs at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening, live on Sky
Sports, looking to set a new record for consecutive wins in a Premier League
season having claimed their 13th straight victory on New Year's Eve.
Spurs sit 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea in fifth but have
collected more points at this stage than they had in last season's campaign,
and Conte believes sticking with Pochettino is key to Tottenham's title
"I think Pochettino is showing that he can be one of the best coaches in the
world because he is doing fantastic work with Tottenham," said Conte.
"They are one team that can fight to win the title in the present and the
future. I give my best compliment to him because I saw this in the past and
I'm seeing this in the present, that they are a really strong team."
Conte visited Tottenham's training ground during his time as Italy head
coach in a bid to learn more about English football, and the Chelsea boss
revealed he and Pochettino share a similar philosophy on football.
"I saw the training ground, I spoke with him," Conte added. "We spoke about
football and also about our ideas of football.
"I found a lot of similar things. We like to play from the back, [have]
possession, and also to find the right solution to go towards the goal and
finish very quickly the action when you start [the attack]."
Chelsea secured a 2-1 victory over Spurs when the two sides met at Stamford
Bridge in November in just the fourth game of their current winning streak,
but Conte believes the gulf in the sides' league positions is not a true
reflection of their difference in quality.
"I think Tottenham in this part of the season was unlucky in some games, but
I think they are stronger if you compare to last season," Conte said.
"Another year to work with Pochettino, now there is this difference in the
table only because we did an incredible run. But I consider them a great
"This group is a young team, and many players are growing. Every year they
pass with this club and continue to work with the same manager, they are
improving a lot."