English Premiership

Conte pays respects to Chelsea 'legend' Wilkins

2018-04-06 18:20
Ray Wilkins

London - Antonio Conte has paid his respects to Chelsea great Ray Wilkins following his death earlier this week, urging his players to "make a great memory" against West Ham on Sunday.

The Blues boss spoke passionately about the club's former captain, who died aged 61 on Wednesday following a cardiac arrest.

The Premier League announced that all matches this weekend will be preceded by a moment's applause in memory of the ex-England international, whose other clubs included Manchester United, AC Milan and QPR.

Chelsea will make their own tribute to a man who worked as an assistant manager and coach with the Blues, with memories in the matchday programme, a book of condolence and a picture montage all planned ahead of Sunday's match.

"It was tragic news for us," Conte told reporters on Friday. "We are talking about a really good person. I was lucky to know him and speak with him many times. He was a legend for this club, an ambassador for football.

"We are very sad because it is very difficult to accept this news. We want to pass on to the family our deepest condolences and I think this is a big loss."

While the game against the Hammers is expected to be an emotional afternoon, Conte wants the fixture itself to be treated differently from the pre-match tributes.

"I think on Sunday we must be ready to make a great memory to Ray," he said.

"I think that this will be very important, then there is the game. But I see two different situations and it is not right to mix the situations. We must have great respect for the tragedy and think to play football to give the best during the game."

Chelsea lost 3-1 to Tottenham at Stamford Bridge last weekend to fall eight points behind Spurs in the race for a top-four spot and Champions League football next season.

Conte admits it will be tough for the reigning Premier League champions to close that gap with just seven games remaining but the Italian still wants to see his players battling until the end.

"It won't be easy, we have to be realistic, but at the same time we have to give all of ourselves," said Conte. "We must show pride, desire, will to fight until the end of the season - this must be our target now.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Monday, 23 April 2018
Everton v Newcastle United, Goodison Park 21:00
Saturday, 28 April 2018
Liverpool v Stoke City, Anfield 13:30
Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion, St. James' Park 16:00
Southampton v AFC Bournemouth, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Everton, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Brighton & Hove Albion, Turf Moor 16:00
Swansea City v Chelsea, Liberty Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 29 April 2018
West Ham United v Manchester City, London Stadium 15:15
Manchester United v Arsenal, Old Trafford 17:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.