English Premiership

Conte insists the EPL is Chelsea's main focus

2017-12-12 11:03
Antonio Conte (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists the Premier League is their priority, after being paired with Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League last-16.

The Blues avoided Paris Saint-Germain in Monday's draw, with the French giants responsible for knocking them out at this stage of the competition for the last two years.

But the lottery was no kinder on this occasion as Conte's side will face Barca in the next round, although the Italian is choosing to focus on domestic matters where a trip to Huddersfield awaits on Tuesday.

The current English champions saw their hopes of a title defence slip further away with the 1-0 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday, which left them 14 points adrift of Manchester City at the top of the table.

"Our priority must be the league, to try to stay up and to try to fight for a Champions League place," the 48-year-old said after being drawn against the Blaugrana.

"This must be our priority in this moment. Then, when it is the moment to play Barcelona we will start to think about that game.

"We must be very realistic to understand this league is very dangerous, we are to go game by game, to play with 120% of our strength every game, otherwise we will have a bad surprise at the end of the season.

"I'm not happy because the last game we lost. The draw is in February, I look at the present. I like to win, when we lose I'm not happy."

Chelsea travel to West Yorkshire on Tuesday for a tricky away clash against Huddersfield Town at The John Smith's Stadium.

Kick-off is at 22:00.


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