Conte 'not worried' about job security

Dele Alli controlling a long pass with his first touch before scoring his first goal against Chelsea with his second. Tottenham completed a 3-1 comeback win over the defending champions to pile the pressure on Antonio Conte in just his second season
Dele Alli controlling a long pass with his first touch before scoring his first goal against Chelsea with his second. Tottenham completed a 3-1 comeback win over the defending champions to pile the pressure on Antonio Conte in just his second season in charge at Stamford Bridge.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

He also insists Blues, who may finish outside top 4, deserve their current league position

LONDON • Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insisted he has no concerns over his immediate future and will continue to "give everything" despite the Blues suffering a potentially fatal blow in the race to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Tottenham came from behind to beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday and secured their first win at Stamford Bridge since February 1990.

A fine strike from Christian Eriksen and a second-half brace from Dele Alli sealed all three points after Alvaro Morata had opened the scoring for Conte's side.

The win hoisted Spurs eight points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea, whose FA Cup pursuit would hardly constitute a consolation after a dispiriting campaign.

Conte is expected to depart in the summer - and join Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti as the third coach of the Roman Abramovich era to lose his job a year after winning the league.

He was asked about fears over his future at a club who have traditionally acted once hopes of a top-four finish dim.

"I'm not worried," said the Italian following the defeat.

  • Premier League talking points

  • 1. PALACE'S SURVIVAL HINGES ON BENTEKE

    How do Crystal Palace revive Christian Benteke? His two misses against Liverpool on Saturday were the turning points in a match that had it swung Palace's way, could have put safety within reach.

    Instead they are left to fret and cannot take much encouragement from the form of a striker who has scored just twice in 26 games.

    Beyond winger Wilfried Zaha, Roy Hodgson's team continue to lack a consistent threat but an on-song Benteke - if his manager can bring him out of his shell - may yet prove to be the difference between survival and disaster.

  • 2. PEREZ'S ROLE PROVES RAFA'S TACTICAL NOUS

    Newcastle's position, probably one win from survival, is testament to Rafael Benitez's meticulously high-calibre coaching.

    It has not only improved Jonjo Shelvey to the point where there is a case for the midfielder to be on England's World Cup flight to Russia but also transformed the games of Mo Diame, Paul Dummett and Ayoze Perez.

    Perez has grown into the No. 10 role that is integral to Benitez's blueprint and, although not a natural fit playing in the hole, the Spaniard has looked increasingly impressive in between the lines and scored Saturday's winner against Huddersfield.

  • 3. DEFOE ROLLS BACK YEARS AFTER MIXED SEASON

    Jermain Defoe's stoppage-time equaliser at Watford took Bournemouth to 37 points, usually enough to secure safety in the Premier League.

    However, he has not made the expected impact at the club he joined last summer on a free transfer from Sunderland, with an ankle problem reducing his availability and potency to just four goals.

    The injury has almost certainly prevented the 35-year-old from being in England's World Cup squad this summer, but his contribution on Saturday was a telling one.

    THE GUARDIAN

"I'm giving - the players are giving - everything. We are working very hard to try to have a good season but, in the end, we are deserving (of) this season.

"I have my opinion but I'm very tired of always repeating the same things. If we are in this position, we deserve to be. You have to ask the club, not me (about the significance of a top-four spot)."

Conte also blamed individual errors for the loss, which Alli capitalised on, and called the forward's second "a stupid goal to concede".

Spurs, in contrast, have given themselves breathing space in the top four after only a second away win in 20 games against the current top six.

And manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed the progress they have made in the four years since his appointment, saying the club have "reduced the distance to the top four".

"To create a winning mentality, you have to get good results in big stadiums like the Bernabeu (where Spurs drew 1-1 with Real Madrid in October in the Champions League) or Stamford Bridge," the Argentinian added.

"Next season we'll have a new stadium and it could be fantastic."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2018, with the headline 'Conte 'not worried' about job security'. Print Edition | Subscribe