Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte stressed the importance of truthful communication with his players in the wake of Spurs' 2-0 defeat in the first leg of a League Cup semifinal against Chelsea.

Chelsea, who dominated from the start and had enough chances to put the game beyond doubt, seized control of the two-legged semifinal thanks to an early goal by Kai Havertz and an own goal by Spurs defender Ben Davies.

Conte pulled no punches after the match, saying his Spurs side were nowhere near Chelsea in terms of quality, and on Friday, the Italian manager reiterated his desire, to be honest with his players.

"My relationship with the players is based on the truth. Not only here, but also in the past," Conte told reporters.

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"When I was a player, I hated the coach that told me nice lies to keep me calm and relaxed in a good relationship. If you want to improve it's important for players to hear the truth.

"My players know that I'll always tell them the truth because with the truth you can improve. With good lies, I don't think you have a chance to live."

Conte added that the defeat against Chelsea would help Spurs gain a more complete understanding of their shortcomings.

"We have space for improvement, and we started to analyse the game after Chelsea, and it's a good example of where we can improve, not just in a tactical aspect, but also in mentality," Conte said.

"I think we can use this game an example to improve for the people to see outside. You learn more after a loss than a win."

Spurs welcome third-tier Morecambe in the FA Cup third round on Sunday before games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester City over the next fortnight.