Conte not blaming board despite Chelsea’s defeat to Tottenham

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Antonio Conte has refused to accept that Chelsea’s damaging 3-1 Premier League defeat to Tottenham vindicates his frustrations over the club’s transfer policy.

The Blues boss insisted he would not tell Chelsea’s board ‘I told you so’ despite the west Londoners having all but surrendered the chance for Champions League qualification with Sunday’s league loss to Spurs.

Tottenham’s first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990 opened up a gap of eight points on Chelsea, who are languishing down in fifth place with just seven matches to play.

Conte has appeared to be heading for a summer exit from Chelsea for some time and has previously not hidden his dissatisfaction with the club’s recruitment – but has now refused to add to past statements.

“I think that now is not the right moment to tell ‘I said this before’,” said Conte.

“Now the moment is to try to continue to work with great professionalism.

“And we are doing this, and we have to try until the end to do our best.

“But I think if we are in this position, we are deserving of this position.”

Asked if his own future would be on the line if Chelsea miss out on next term’s Champions League, Conte replied: “I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t know about this, but we didn’t speak about a project.

“I don’t know, you have to ask the club, not me.

“I repeat, my task is to work, and I know that I work, 24 hours, for Chelsea, me and my staff.

“This is our task. Then the club has to take the decision. But I repeat, I am not worried about this.”

Dele Alli’s double and a fine strike from Christian Eriksen sunk the Blues on home soil, despite Alvaro Morata’s first league goal since Boxing Day.

Conte had branded himself “a disaster” when persuading Chelsea’s board to chase specific player signings back in February.

While the former Juventus boss was in no mood to hit Chelsea’s board with hindsight, he did however insist he has squeezed the best out of his current resources.

Asked if he had achieved the maximum possible return with Chelsea’s current squad this term, Conte replied: “Yeah, I’m sure: because we are working, we are working very well, we are working very hard and the commitment of the players is top.

“Despite this, we’re staying in this position. We must be a bit worried about this.”

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