Antonio Conte's job as Chelsea manager secure

Antonio Conte

Chelsea were beaten in the EFL Cup semi-final by Arsenal last month and have only won one of their last five Premier League matches, the champions now sitting a point above fifth-placed Tottenham in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has also backed the Italian. The first-choice left wing-back, Marcos Alonso, was rested at Vicarage Road as a precaution after feeling discomfort in the build-up, while David Luiz and Thibaut Courtois have only just returned from ankle problems.

Blues boss Antonio Conte is on the brink at Stamford Bridge after a second successive defeat by three goals. The Blues will host West Brom at home on Monday - before directly facing the likes of Barcelona at home in the Champions League and then both Manchester clubs away in the Premier League.

"For sure I have to take the responsibility as maybe I made the wrong decision with the starting eleven".

Although the 48-year-old has been linked with a return to his former job as Italy manager, Italian football federation (FIGC) assistant commissioner Alessandro Costacurta said on Sunday that he has ruled himself out. You have to look at the last two results - losing at home to Bournemouth and then to Watford - you'd be anxious within the club that the way Conte is feeling is being transmitted to the players and could begin a downward spiral.

Negotiations would go in a good way and the Spanish coach could debut on the bench of Chelsea in the Champions League tie against FC Barcelona - an exciting challenge to start. And the Blues' next match could prove a defining moment for the rest of the season.

Giorgio Chiellini
Antonio Conte's job as Chelsea manager secure

"I have a great disappointment, our performance was very bad", Conte said. "We know that there is speculation here all the time - it has been that way in the six years I have been here".

'We just need to keep strong.

'But I'm afraid that's just the way it is - the top players are always going to go to top clubs.

"It was abysmal. It hurts a lot when you come off after a performance like that".

That year, we saw Mourinho having problems with his doctor at the first game of the season, a clear sign of internal problems within the club.

"Antonio Conte's long tough training sessions at an arduous part of the season, and a hard-line approach to certain players, have become major issues for some of the Chelsea squad". When the situation is too calm, you risk being relaxed and losing the anger, the fire.

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