Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes the club is in a better state despite being on the brink of missing out of the top four claiming the situation is not as bad as the one he met.
The Italian manager won the Premier League title in his debut season after the club’s dismal 10th place finish in the previous campaign. Presently, the Blues are 23 points worse off their title-winning season and would need Brighton to beat Liverpool, while they defeat Newcastle to finish in the top four.
However, the former Juventus boss has chosen to dwell on the positives than accepting comparisons to Jose Mourinho’s 2015 team. In the press conference ahead of the Newcastle game, he said:”We’ve worked for two years, and we’ve worked very hard to try to build something, to create a base – I think we did this,” said Conte, despite being hesitant to judge his work.
“Last season, after a 10th place we won [the title]. It was difficult, we worked very hard, and we won, after a 10th place.
“Now you can finish fifth; you start with a bit of an advantage on when you finished tenth.”
Internal boardroom wrangles and the failure in recruiting the right players for the manager has fuelled speculations of Conte’s departure. It seems the wrong business in the transfer window is set to backfire, with the Londoners likely to miss out in Europe’s top-tier competition next term.
Irrespective of the results on the final day, Conte has warned that missing out of the Champions League positions is what the top six teams should be wary of in the future.
“You must know there is this possibility because you play in a strong league,” Conte said.
“You have to prepare because there are six top teams at the start of the season ready to fight for a place in the Champions League.
“It can happen. In the past, it happened. Don’t forget two years ago Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the final of the FA Cup, not in the semi-final of Carabao Cup.”