Nothing's easy, warns Conte amid talk of 2nd double

Diego Costa celebrating with John Terry and his team-mates after scoring Chelsea's second goal in the 2-0 FA Cup away win over Wolves.
Diego Costa celebrating with John Terry and his team-mates after scoring Chelsea's second goal in the 2-0 FA Cup away win over Wolves.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Antonio Conte has warned his players to avoid complacency, as they seek to become just the third club in the history of English football to win the Premier League and FA Cup double on two separate occasions.

A 2-0 fifth-round win away over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday took Chelsea through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, while they maintain a healthy eight-point lead at the top of the league table.

That has left the Blues on course to join London rivals Arsenal and Manchester United in winning the double for a second time, although the cautious manager refused to take anything for granted.

"I think it's a little early to talk about this," the Italian said. "But for sure we are in these two competitions. In the league we are doing a great job to stay on top of the table. Now, in the FA Cup, we are in the quarter-finals and I'm pleased with this because it means we're doing very well.

"We're working very well but, honestly, after this game it's important to understand that nothing is easy. If someone thinks that for sure in the league Chelsea will become champions, and for sure we can win the FA Cup, it will be very difficult.

"But we know that. We understand we want to stay there and try to reach the end and win some trophies. We're in a good position but we have to work very hard."

The biggest crowd at Molineux for 36 years - 30,193 - saw Chelsea negotiate the fifth-round tie with second-half goals from Pedro and Diego Costa.

For his part, Wolves manager Paul Lambert insisted that it would be tough for any of Chelsea's top-flight rivals to stop them winning both the league and FA Cup.

He said: "They're relentless. It's going to be a hell of a team that stops them from winning both trophies."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'Nothing's easy, warns Conte amid talk of 2nd double'. Print Edition | Subscribe