Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Conte reveals when his future at Chelsea will be decided

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has sought to rationalise the defending champions' poor season as he prepares his team for a final attempt at claiming a top-four finish.

Despite appearing to write off his side's top-four hopes, Conte will play his best available starting XI at Newcastle and will not consider resting players with the FA Cup final against Manchester United next Saturday in mind.

Rafael Benitez is confident Newcastle's first season back in the Premier League has proved they have the potential to be top 10-regulars.

"Now, probably, you can finish fifth and start with a bit of an advantage compared to when you finish 10th".

Conte has been at loggerheads with the Chelsea board all season over recruitment.

Chelsea's woes this season have led to Conte being strongly tipped to leave the club, but he insists their struggles have not impacted his opinion of English football negatively.

But the Italian, speaking before what is his likely to be his last Premier League game with the Blues, said: "You must know that there is this possibility, because you play in a strong league". Don't forget two years ago, Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the FA Cup final, not in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, and they were eliminated in the last 16 against PSG in the Champions League. For a second season in a row, we're fighting to win something.

Conte threw shade at his Chelsea predecessor once more, saying that the state of the club right now is much better than when he inherited it from Mourinho upon taking the job. "For me, for sure, it was a big loss". We'll see. The public adore me, I love my teammates, my family are good here.

Emenalo is best remembered by many Chelsea fans for the rare interview he granted to the club's in-house TV channel immediately following Jose Mourinho's departure in December 2015, in which he coined the phrase "palpable discord" to describe the toxic atmosphere that had developed between the manager and his players.

"The overriding feeling among the players is that a new head coach will be in charge next season and that Conte killed any chance of a rethink by making so many changes [against Huddersfield]" Law wrote. I'm the last person to judge my work.

In terms of team news, Conte revealed that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was back in contention following his midweek absence with a back injury.

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