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Kulusevski: Don’t rule us out of title race… nobody loves winning as much as Conte

Spurs have taken seven points from their first three games under Antonio Conte, raising optimism of a potential title push ahead of Sunday’s game at Nottingham Forest.

“We signed all the good players and the manager stayed, I’m very hopeful, we can go far both [domestically] and in the Champions League,” Kulusevski said. “It’s just work, you stay silent and at the end we’re going to see.”

Asked if it was possible to better last season’s fourth-place finish, Kulusevski said: “It is, yeah.

“We can decide [where we finish after] that. I know one thing. My manager always says everybody can talk but on the pitch it’s different. And that’s what I want to do, I want us to show everybody on the pitch.

“We’ll see how far we’re going to go. The team’s good, talented and works hard.”

Kulusevski says he has never met anyone as in love with winning as Conte and revealed the head coach wants him to have less fun on the pitch.

“[Conte] always says you’re not here to have fun, you’re here to win games, and to score,” Kulusevski added in an interview with Sky Sports.

“To attack the goal. [He’s] like, ‘Don’t pass too much, don’t be in a zone’. And he’s right because he just wants one thing — to win. To enjoy — he doesn’t want nothing like that! He wants to win because he’s a winner.

“I’m so grateful to have him because I have never seen something like it. I’ve never seen somebody that in love with winning. I think that’s going to take me and the team to the next level.”

Dejan Kulusevski has lauded Antonio Conte’s management of Tottenham’s rise

/ PA

Kulusevski, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son have comfortably been the Premier League’s best front three since the 22-year-old’s Spurs debut in February but a visit to the City Ground could be the perfect opportunity to blood record signing Richarlison.

Suspended on the opening day, the Brazilian impressed in purposeful cameos against Chelsea and Wolves, helping to change the momentum in the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge and catching the eye with two late bursts forward in last weekend’s 1-0 win.

Forest have made an encouraging start back in the top-flight, with a win, a draw and a loss from their opening three games, but they conceded 19 shots against both Everton and West Ham, and 23 at Newcastle.

Son is the likeliest candidate to drop out of the side after a slow start to the season but the Korean rarely goes more than three or four games before bursting into life again and nearly always contributes in the final third even when not at his best — underlined again last weekend when his corner created the only goal for Kane.

Conte has hinted he could play all four of forwards, although more likely as a Plan B than from the start.

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