Football

Chelsea boss Conte not losing sleep over his uncertain future

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he will lose no sleep over the threat he could be sacked less than a year after winning the English Premier League, following a 4-1 thrashing at Watford yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The champions have now conceded seven goals in their last two outings, after also going down 3-0 at home to Bournemouth last week, to put their chances of Champions League qualification for next season in serious peril.

"Tomorrow is another day. I can be the Chelsea coach or not, what is the problem?" said Conte. "I go to sleep without a problem.

"I try to do everything and, if this is enough, OK, otherwise the club take a different decision. Life goes on."

Defeat leaves Chelsea still lagging in fourth and just a point ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the battle for a top-four spot.

Conte has repeatedly complained throughout the campaign about his lack of input towards the club's recruitment strategy.

Once more, the Italian lined up without a recognised striker at Vicarage Road with Alvaro Morata sidelined by injury and new signing Olivier Giroud deemed fit enough only for a place on the bench.

However, Conte also delivered some stinging criticism to his players, who he said "played with fear".

"I try to continue to work to try to improve different aspects of my players, but today I think our performance was very poor," said Conte.

"For sure, I have to take the responsibility because maybe I made the wrong decision for the starting XI.

"To play football in a big club, it means you must have personality. It is simple to play when there is the confidence.

"In this type of moment, you can see who is (made) for a great club, to play with personality, to risk something."

Chelsea's task wasn't made any easier when Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off after just half an hour for two quickfire bookable offences.

Troy Deeney's penalty put the hosts in front just before the break, but Chelsea equalised eight minutes from time through Eden Hazard.

It, however, went downhill for Chelsea after that, as they conceded three times in the final six minutes to Daryl Janmaat, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra. - AFP

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