Conte will not relent
Chelsea boss's will to win has turned ugly duckling into swan
Antonio Conte believes he had to turn Chelsea from "an ugly duckling into a swan" when he took over from Guus Hiddink.
His comments come in the wake of Jose Mourinho's claim that Chelsea are running away with the title playing the type of football that got him sacked by Roman Abramovich back in 2007.
"If you compare this Chelsea with the team from last season then it's normal that you'd end up this way: you can't turn an ugly duckling into a swan in an instant," said Conte.
The Italian reckons that his stubborn nature and willingness to work hard allowed him to push through difficulties when the going was tough in the first few months of his short time at Stamford Bridge.
"I'm not a coach who compromises and with my blind faith in the work we're doing, and in my ideas, I've been able to forge straight ahead without worrying about anyone else."
"My experiences as a player taught me that you will win a lot and lose a lot too and that instilled in me a fierce will to win," he said.
And if any of his title rivals harbour hopes that he will take his eye off the ball, Conte made it very plain that he wants his players to be as ruthless as possible in the coming weeks.
"Those who are out in front must not falter," added the Italian
"It sends a message to those who are following, an increasingly loud message, that we must make the most of this period."