‘I’m doing a great job’ - Chelsea FC boss Antonio Conte after 3-0 loss to Bournemouth
Finishing in the Premier League top four would be a “great success” for Chelsea this season, according to Antonio Conte.football Updated: Feb 01, 2018 14:02 IST
Antonio Conte fears for Chelsea’s top-four hopes following their 3-0 thrashing by Bournemouth but is adamant he is doing a “great job” at Stamford Bridge.
The champions’ title defence has not really gathered pace this season with Manchester City 18 points ahead of the fourth-placed Blues and looking certainties to take the trophy to the Etihad Stadium.
Chelsea still have Champions League qualification to fight for but Wednesday’s defeat to Bournemouth - courtesy of goals from Callum Wilson, Junior Stanislas and ex-Blues defender Nathan Ake - has made life more uncomfortable for Conte, although he remained bullish afterwards.
He told reporters: “I think the pressure is normal. It’s normal for a coach, for a manager. It’s normal if you are Chelsea’s coach.
“After the first game this season [a home defeat to Burnley], you tried to put pressure on my job but I’m trying to do my best.
“I repeat: we are doing everything, we are doing 120 per cent. I’m exploiting this squad to the maximum level but if someone doesn’t agree about this, I’m here.
“I have to accept every situation. I’m very relaxed about this. I know that I’m doing a great job, a great work, me and the staff and the players.”
Asked if he felt Chelsea were overachieving, he added: “Yes, yes. I think we are doing more. We are doing more, yes.”
He did admit, however, to some concern over their top-four ambitions.
“Yes, we must be worried. It won’t be easy but this is normal. We have to struggle for a position in the Champions League. But I think the players, until now, are great, for their commitment and their behaviour. If they hadn’t done that, our place in the table would be worse.
“If we are able to reach a place in the Champions League it will be a great success for us.”
Conte finally got the physical centre-forward he craved in January - Olivier Giroud coming in from Arsenal to replace Michy Batshuayi who departed for Borussia Dortmund on loan - earlier on deadline day.
But he dismissed suggestions the transfer talk had disrupted his team’s preparations.
“No but now it would be very simple to find a lot of excuses, a lot of alibis,” he said. “This is not the right way. We made a lot of mistakes. Together. When we win, we win together. When we lose, we lose together.”
Another worrying development for Chelsea was Denmark international Andreas Christensen limping off in the first half of Wednesday’s game.
Conte said: “We have played other games without Christensen. Injuries are a part of the game. It’s not right to find excuses. This is not the right way to solve the situation. Only through work can you solve the situation.
“I think it’s a hamstring problem for Christensen, but I don’t know the extent of his injury. We have to wait one day, two days, three days to have a clinical examination.”
First Published: Feb 01, 2018 14:02 IST