Antonio Conte admitted Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg highlighted the gulf between the two clubs.
It was an unhappy return to Stamford Bridge for Spurs’ former Blues boss, who gave a blunt assessment of the north London side’s problems.
“I said that this type of game can show us the difference there is between us and a top club like Chelsea.
“We struggled a lot against Chelsea. They showed to be much stronger than us.
“For sure you have to be disappointed, but on the other hand you have to understand there is an important difference and I know this.
“This game confirmed what I thought about the difference between the teams.”
And Conte warned that it will take some time to turn Spurs back into a team which can challenge near the top of the table.
“We need to have patience because there is a lot of job to do,” he said.
“Chelsea last season won the Champions League and in this season they invested much money to improve the team.
“I think that this is enough to understand the difference in this moment between us and them. We need so much time.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel praised Romelu Lukaku for his performance on the striker’s return to the side.