London - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has called for public backing from the
Stamford Bridge hierarchy to put an end to growing speculation about his
future as manager.
The Italian won the Premier League title in
2016/17 in his first year in England but there have been persistent
rumours about his job being under threat this season due to the Blues'
Conte has repeatedly expressed his desire to
honour the remaining 18 months of his contract and now wants a public
vote of confidence from his employers.
"Maybe I'd like that the
club prepare a statement for me to tell (the media), 'I trust in his
job, I trust in his work'," said Conte ahead of Monday's trip to
"But at the same time I know that in the past it never
happened, this, and for this reason why would I hope for something
"For sure, I think that I'd like to have a statement to support against this speculation."
have failed to mount a serious defence of their title and travel to
Vicarage Road 19 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City
following last week's humiliating 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.
losing to Arsenal in the semi-finals of the League Cup, their only
hopes of silverware lie in the Champions League and the FA Cup, while
they face a fight to secure a top-four league finish.
Conte said he would welcome talks about extending his contract with the London club despite his struggles this season.
"I'm giving all of myself, me and my staff and also my players, for this club," he said.
then I think that we are doing the maximum for this club and if the
club understands this and the club wants to extend a new contract then
we can talk, why not?"
Conte could give debuts to new signings
Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri against the Hornets, although
neither player is expected to start as they are short of fitness due to