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Thursday 20 September 2018

Conte: 'I'm doing a fantastic job'

Antonio Conte. Photo: Reuters
Antonio Conte. Photo: Reuters

Antonio Conte insists Chelsea’s season will be considered a success – even if it finishes without a trophy.

The Italian oversaw a highly-impressive first year in English football when he inspired his team to the Premier League title and the final of the FA Cup.

This season they have struggled for the same consistency and remain 15 points behind Manchester City, contributing to suggestions he could leave this summer.

That they head into tonight’s League Cup semi-final second leg at Arsenal knowing victory represents their greatest hope of winning a trophy this season would at such a ruthless club usually be considered a significant disappointment.

Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho seven months after he led them to the title, Carlo Ancelotti a year after the double, and Roberto Di Matteo six months after winning the FA Cup and Champions League.

Conte regardless maintains that last season’s success was “a miracle” and that the club’s hierarchy recognise the challenges – particularly the wealth of the Manchester clubs – they now face after a period with English football’s biggest budget.

“This is already a good season, because we are doing 120 per cent,” said the 48-year-old, whose team sit third in the Premier League.

“I’m doing a fantastic job; the same my players.

“It’s not important if you reach the final or win a trophy or win the league. The most important thing is to see if the coach and players are working very well.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Kenedy has completed his loan move to Newcastle.

The Brazilian, 21, has rarely featured at Stamford Bridge but was a long-term target of Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, and Conte was prepared to let him leave to encourage his development.

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