English Premiership

Play for the badge, not for me - Conte

2018-04-17 09:43
Antonio Conte (Twitter)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has called on his players to play for the respect of the club badge and not to help him save his job.

Conte's side have failed to live up to the expectations of the previous campaign, where they won the Premier League in the Italian's first season at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are in danger of failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League as they sit seven points adrift of the top four, while their only chance of silverware this season is the FA Cup.

Conte saw his team battle back from two goals down to beat Southampton 3-2 at St Mary's on Saturday, and he denied suggestions that the players came to the party to help him avoid the sack at the end of the season.

"I was a player, and the players must play every game, and not for me, but for the club, and for the fans," he told Sky Sports.

"They must have great respect for this badge; they don't have to play for the coach. They have to play for the club, our fans, and to show great character like today.

"This is the best possible way for a player to be a fantastic professional. Especially in this type of situation, when there is great difficulty, you must show yourself first to be a man and then a player.

"They did this in the second half against Southampton."

Chelsea will shift their focus to the FA Cup semi-final this weekend as they clash against the Saints again but this time at Wembley Stadium.

The match is scheduled for Sunday, April 22.

Kick-off is at 16:00.

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