Conte spoke of their situation after victory at Tottenham.
After being asked about the expenditure of both Manchester clubs, Conte told reporters at Wembley: "For us, it's very important we only focus on ourselves.
"We know very well that a lot of teams improved if you compare with last season. But also, don't forget that this team was very strong last season.
"It's not important if we are not favourites in this league. It was the same last season. We know we are trying to improve our team, our squad, and the club is trying to do its best in the transfer market to try and improve the team and the squad.
"But I repeat I'm very happy when I see this type of game. I'm not speaking about football, but this spirit, this heart, this desire. I must be satisfied because my players gave me everything today. They did the same last season.
"This season we started with the first half not so good against Burnley but, in the second half, they showed me again a great spirit. We tried to change the final result and scored two goals with 10 men and nine men.
"We have to continue to consider there are great difficulties in this season, but the only way we can get through these difficulties is to work."