Antonio Conte preached patience after his Tottenham tenure started with a "crazy game" against Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.
Spurs emerged as 3-2 winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday, but they made things difficult for themselves after racing into a three-goal lead through Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and an own goal from Jacob Rasmussen inside the opening half hour.
Son's opener meant the South Korea international has scored Tottenham's first goal under each of their three most recent permanent bosses.
Rasmussen made amends for his error before Matus Bero reduced the deficit further seven minutes later, with Cristian Romero's dismissal putting the hosts under pressure with half an hour left to play.
Vitesse were unable to complete the comeback, though, with red cards for Danilho Doekhi and goalkeeper Markus Schubert in the closing stages bringing an end to their hopes.
Anyone else need a lie down? pic.twitter.com/VXmUPQhohL— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 4, 2021
Conte picked a strong team for the game – he made just one change to the XI picked by his predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo against Manchester United at the weekend – handing Son and Harry Kane their first starts in the competition.
But with Spurs back in action at Everton in the Premier League on Sunday and the international break coming immediately after, Conte warned it will take time for him to stamp his mark on the team.
"It was a crazy game. Usually I don't like this type of game – a crazy game means anything can happen. But at the same time, I think we should win and we won," Conte told BT Sport.
"We were winning 3-0 then conceded two goals we can avoid. After the red card we were in trouble. To win while suffering is good for this team, these players.
"They needed to improve their confidence. They needed to work a lot. The problem is we have to find the time to work. We have two days until the next game, then it's the international break.
"For sure, we have to improve. It's not easy because in two days we prepared for this [Vitesse] game, now we have only one day. Tomorrow it's impossible to work with the players who played tonight. They used a lot of energy. Tomorrow they have to rest and we'll work with the players who didn't play.
"We need to have a bit of patience because we need to work on many aspects – tactically and physically. I'm not afraid about the work. I know only through the work you can reach important targets."
It was just the second time in a major European competition that a game has seen five goals and three red cards, after Braga's 4-1 success against Fenerbahce in the Europa League in 2016.