Football

Conte urges Chelsea to stand by him

Under-pressure Antonio Conte has urged the club's management to stand by him, insisting that he would like to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond this season.

The Italian's future has been thrown into doubt in recent months after reports suggested that he had a clash with the management over transfer matters.

His position then came under serious immediate threat following a spate of poor results.

Last month, they lost to Arsenal in the League Cup semi-finals, and following two straight losses in their last two English Premier League matches - 3-0 to Bournemouth and 4-1 to Watford - they are now outside the top four.

Failure to beat bottom-placed West Bromwich Albion at the Bridge tomorrow morning (Singapore time) may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Conte, whose contract expires next year, was quoted as saying in The Guardian: "You continue to work with a manager or coach not because of what he achieves in one season but because you trust in him.

"Then you build something with him.

"But it doesn't mean you have to win something, because that's not simple. Not easy. Especially in England.

"The way I look at it, you can win but, at the same time, the club might not be happy to stay with you. In that case, it's right to send the coach away.

"At the same time, you can trust in a coach and his work and continue with him even if you don't win, and try and build something important.

"There are two ways. There is a stupid way and an intelligent way."

The former Juventus coach also feels that the uncertainty over his future will not take a toll on his players.

He said on Chelsea's official website: "Honestly, I don't think talk about my future can affect the players.

"Otherwise, from the first game we lost against Burnley, it could happen, this.

"I think my players are getting used to these rumours, to this speculation, but for sure I am very happy with the commitment of my players, the behaviour of my players because they show me every day they want to overcome this situation.

"We are talking about a team that is fourth in the league (before the start of the weekend games), is preparing to face the game against Barcelona, we are in the FA Cup competition and we reached the semi-finals of the League Cup."

Football