Sunday 20 May 2018

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte: Manchester City can dominate English football

The Italian believes Champions League glory beckons for Pep Guardiola’s side in the coming years.

Antonio Conte believes Manchester City will dominate English football
Antonio Conte believes Manchester City will dominate English football

By Declan Warrington, Press Association Sport

Antonio Conte has warned Chelsea’s hierarchy that Premier League champions Manchester City can dominate English football.

With five fixtures remaining, City can still break Chelsea’s record points tally of 95, as well as those they still hold for goal difference and goals scored.

Conte has repeatedly been critical of what he considers a lack of investment that has undermined his and his team’s defence of the Premier League title.

The Italian cited City’s ambition and willingness to continue spending and backing their manager Pep Guardiola as a reason they will continue to excel.

Conte is widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, and he said: “Manchester City is one club that can continue to dominate, to win. Not only in England but also to fight for the Champions League.

“They have the possibility to do this; it is a very strong club, they have an important squad with great players and are a club that want to invest and improve. There are a lot of things that are right.

“They have dominated this season and it’s right to compliment them on winning this league; this league is not simple to win.

“The way they did it was incredible. They did a great job on and off the pitch; they were very well prepared for the season. I like the way they improved the team and the squad.”

Chelsea, who are preparing to hand Emerson Palmieri his Premier League debut on the left wing, visit Burnley on Thursday evening.

Their hopes of an unlikely top-four finish have been strengthened by Tottenham dropping five points in their past two games, meaning Conte’s team could cut the deficit to five points.

“If we want to be realistic, with five games to go it is not simple to reduce the gap but we must have the will to fight,” said the 48-year-old. “We must have the desire to try and take this target.

“It won’t be easy to get three points but we have to try in every game to do our best and try to avoid what happened against Southampton in the first 60 minutes (of Saturday’s 3-2 away win), because we played badly not only in a tactical and technical aspect but also in spirit.

“We have to avoid this if we want to keep the hope to finish in the top four.”

Press Association

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