Antonio Conte Pre-Newcastle Press Conference – Asked if Top 4 or FA Cup more important
Antonio Conte has met the media on Friday lunchtime, ahead of the game at St James Park on Sunday.
The Chelsea boss is allegedly facing the sack, whatever happens in the remaining days of the season.
Abramovich never slow to press the trigger, even though by next Saturday night, Conte could have lifted the FA Cup, finished top four for a Champions League spot, and of course won the Premier League only 12 months ago.
The Chelsea boss predictably wouldn’t be drawn on what is most important, simply saying his players have to focus on beating Newcastle, then think about winning the FA Cup.
On the defensive, Antonio Conte says that with now six clubs fighting for four spaces, there will always be at least two who miss out on the Champions League.
The Chelsea manager pointing out last season that Arsenal and Man Utd ended up outside the top four, whilst Chelsea themselves were 10th in the season before he arrived, only two years ago.
The only piece of injury news he gave, was that keeper Courtois will be available for Newcastle.
Chelsea have won their last three PL away games but drawn two of the last three, those extra four points from the West Ham and Huddersfield matches being pointed to by Conte as probably the killer results in not ending up top four.
Antonio Conte asked what would mean more, top four or winning FA Cup?:
“We have to try and reach both targets.
“Not easy as the situation is not in our hands…
“We have to try to get three points against Newcastle and hope something positive for us [at Anfield].
“About the FA Cup, I think we must be focused on the league [first] to finish in the best way.
“I don’t know [how damaging it would be to miss out on top four] – but there is always this possibility when you play in a strong league.
“There are six strong teams to fight for the Champions League [places], don’t forget, two years ago Chelsea finished 10th.
“We are struggling to make a place in the Champions League but last season [Man] United finished sixth and Arsenal fifth, it means you must pay great attention to the future and present – it isn’t easy.
“We have dropped many points but in that last game we dominated [v Huddersfield] and weren’t able to win.
“This season we were a bit unlucky, I don’t like to use this word…but if you see those home games against West Ham and Huddersfield, we lost four points.
“When you drop points in that way then you can pay.”
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