Antonio Conte challenges Chelsea owners to back him or sack him after Watford drubbing
Antonio Conte has challenged the Chelsea owners to make a decision over his future after a 4-1 thrashing against Watford at Vicarage Road pushed him to the brink of the sack.
After last Wednesday's 3-0 defeat against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, Conte appreciated he dare not lose again against Watford, yet a first half red card for Tiemoue Bakayoko sparked a heavy defeat that put a dent in the club's hopes of securing a top four finish last season.
Some bookmakers have now suspended betting on Conte being sacked imminently, with the Italian tactician who led Chelsea to the Premier League title last season offering up a fractious series of interviews after his side's latest woeful performance.
"I tried to warn everyone about the difficulty of our path in the league and Champions League," stated Conte. "We performed very bad but maybe I made the mistakes with the starting XI today.
"My choice was very poor I think. My choice of the first eleven was poor, but it was very difficult to change something tonight.
"In this situation the fault is the coach. When you start in this way and play in this way you have doubt about the game. During the game it is difficult to change something, afterwards you can understand it and make bad decision.
"The second half I saw a great will but at the same time a lot of confusions. We don't play in this way. We have to accept this and fight a lot in this season. it will be very difficult for everything."
Conte was in combative mood during his Sky TV interview and he continued his analysis with the written media.
"To play football in a great club it means you must have a personality, because it is simple to play when there is the confidence," he said, in an apparent dig at some of his player. "Especially in this type of moment it is simple to see who. In this moment you have to show and have personality.
"It is very difficult for me to transfer my thoughts. I hope tonight you understand me, I am not worried about my job. I work every day and give 100%. I am not worried.
"Every day and every press conference I am asked, but no. Tomorrow is another day. My soul is clear and I go to sleep without the problem that maybe I could do this. I try to do everything. If this problem becomes of the club it is okay. Life goes on."
Conte also hit back at claims he had lost the backing of the Chelsea players as he stated: "Do you think a club can sack a coach is there is not the backing of the players?
"You think the players have this power? This is wrong. When I was a player, never never I spoke about a coach with my club. If a club tried to ask me it is not my problem .
"My task is to work with these players and to have honest players and they work with commitment. The problem is you try to create the problem. I do my job and I have zero issue to sleep.
"I can’t predict the future, especially after two poor performances like this. Now it is very difficult to predict to turn it positive. I can promise to work to try to change the situation."