Thursday 13 December 2018

Conte calls for collective responsibility over Chelsea slump

Chelsea are 19 points behind leaders Manchester City following one win from five.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Antonio Conte insists he wants to remain as Chelsea manager and feels there must be collective responsibility for recent poor results.

Conte’s Premier League champions have endured a torrid past two weeks, losing 3-0 at home to Bournemouth before being thrashed 4-1 at Watford.

The under-pressure Italian, who called for a public vote of confidence from the club during that period, admitted confidence among his squad is low ahead of Monday’s game with bottom club West Brom and knows their form must improve.

Recent results have been hugely disappointing for Conte and co

“I’m not thinking for only one moment about the possibility of going away from this club. I repeat, my commitment is totally for this club, like that of my players,” said Conte.

“But, as you know very well, because we are talking about football, a lot of times – I don’t agree with this – the coach depends on the results.

“For this reason, we have to pay great attention.

“When you have this period with such poor results, you have to divide the responsibility between me, the players and the club.

“We have to try to stop this bad run and to try to get three points against West Brom.

  1. Arsenal (drawn)
  2. Norwich (drawn)
  3. Arsenal (drawn)
  4. Leicester (drawn)
  5. Norwich (drawn - won on penalties)
  6. Brighton (won)
  7. Arsenal (lost)
  8. Newcastle (won)
  9. Bournemouth (lost)
  10. Watford (lost)

“It won’t be easy because in this type of situation the confidence is not high but we have to trust in our work.”

Conte opted to give his players three days off following Monday’s late collapse at Vicarage Road when they conceded three times in the final six minutes.

With a two-legged Champions League tie against Barcelona coming up, Conte felt this week was a rare opportunity for his players to have a break.

“I think it was the only moment in the season to give them a rest. I think in the future it will be very important to try (to create) a little space, a little room with the federation (FA) to try to give rest to the players,” he said.

Speaking about the performance at Vicarage Road, he added: “I think Watford was a really bad game but it can happen. Our performance was totally negative.

“The performance was negative from the start and we didn’t create the chances to score. I think that the coach has to understand and try to find the best solution to avoid this type of situation. I didn’t like the Watford performance.”

Out-of-form striker Alvaro Morata is currently sidelined

Chelsea remain without injured striker Alvaro Morata (back) against the struggling Baggies, while midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko serves a one-game ban following his dismissal at Vicarage Road.

Defender Andreas Christensen remains a doubt with a hamstring problem but forward Olivier Giroud could make his first start since his deadline-day switch from Arsenal.

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