By George Sessions, PA
Tottenham’s FA Cup-winning captain Gary Mabbutt believes Antonio Conte has set his sights on becoming the man to end the club’s trophy drought.
Mabbutt captained Spurs to FA Cup success in 1991, the last time they won English’s football oldest cup competition.
Tottenham have only won silverware twice during the past 30 years despite turning into one of the Premier League’s strongest clubs and becoming a regular sight again in European competitions during the last two decades.
Happy Birthday to the one and only, Gary Mabbutt! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/DtRsAxmRiM
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 23, 2022
Conte is the latest manager tasked with bringing back the glory days and has spoken of his desire to “win something important”, with Spurs still in the FA Cup and Champions League this season.
“Looking at the teams left in the FA Cup, I feel we have a great opportunity,” Mabbutt told the PA news agency.
“This season in the FA Cup we have a fantastic opportunity and we are also in the last 16 of the Champions League with a game against (AC) Milan, who are beatable so yes, the cups could be very exciting for us.
“I think Antonio has set his mind on winning something this season and we’ll be throwing everything to do it. We haven’t had a trophy for a while now and it is time we had a trophy.
“Antonio has done it with the last few clubs he has been to and he is working as hard as he can through the training we’re doing, the players we’re bringing in and getting players back from injury as quick as we can to make sure this season we have a great chance to win a cup.”
Conte reached two FA Cup finals during his spell with Chelsea and will turn his attention to that competition on Saturday when Tottenham visit Preston for a fourth-round tie.
Spurs have endured a difficult start to 2023 on and off the pitch but earned a vital win at Fulham on Monday night thanks to Harry Kane’s 266th goal for the club.
It drew Kane level as Tottenham’s joint-leading scorer alongside Jimmy Greaves, whose tally had stood since 1970.
Club ambassador Mabbutt added: “Obviously Harry has a good few years in him yet but it has been remarkable what he has achieved.
“I am not surprised because I’ve been very lucky to see Harry come through from a young age and he always had a fantastic ability to score goals.
“It took him a while to get that development from youth to pushing through but as soon as he got that progression, he got a lot of experience on loan, and when he came back, he got into the first team and progressed immensely.
“He is one of the best strikers in the world today and his goalscoring record is second to none.”
Spurs stalwart Mabbutt was speaking at the club’s first ever official supporters’ club pre-match social event on January 15.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosted members from 80 different fans’ groups in Market Square, with a number of club greats in attendance including Ossie Ardiles and Martin Chivers to swap stories and memorabilia.
Mabbutt, second on the club’s all-time list of appearance makers, was more than happy to recall the long walk up the old Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup in 1991 after beating Nottingham Forest following extra-time.
“I was lucky enough to be the captain that day and most people I meet ask about memories of that. It is still very fresh in my mind,” the 61-year-old insisted.
“Obviously globally now we’ve got fantastic support, a fantastic following, and this has been an excellent opportunity to bring fans together to swap pin badges from their own supporters’ clubs all over.
“I have had invites to go every part of the world so it is fantastic for everyone.
“A lot of the places we’ve actually been to play and some of the older people would have seen me play in Sligo in Ireland or overseas in Australia. It is great to meet so many Tottenham fans.”