Antonio Conte is worried about Chelsea future

Antonio Conte says he's starting to worry about his future at Chelsea but insists he's dealt with speculation all season

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted he is now beginning to worry about speculation over his future at the club.

Having managed the Blues to a Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge, Conte has struggled to draw the same level of performance from his players in his second campaign.

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Huddersfield on Wednesday evening and as a result, are relying on results elsewhere to have any chance of qualifying next season’s Champions League.

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Despite his contract running until 2019, friction between Conte and the Chelsea board has fuelled speculation over whether he’ll remain in west London next season.

“I’ve been living with this speculation since the start of this season,” Conte said.

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“I always say my only thought is to do my job in the best possible way, that I work very hard with my players.”

“Since the start of the first game, at that time I don’t listen to the speculation around me and this is the right moment I start to be worried.”

Conte expressed his dissatisfaction over Chelsea’s failure to sufficiently improve his playing squad at the end of last season.

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With the added pressures of Champions League football and the improvements of Chelsea’s top-six rivals, Conte felt reinforcements were necessary.

Conte’s worst fears became reality, as Chelsea struggled to keep pace at the top of the Premier League, and they enter the final weekend of the season with only faint hopes of a top-four finish.

The Blues must win at Newcastle and hope that Brighton can shock Liverpool at Anfield, with both games being shown live on Sky Sports.

Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield

Regardless of whether results go Chelsea’s way on Sunday, Conte believes missing out on the Champions League is a scenario all of England’s top teams must be prepared for.

“You must know there is this possibility because you play in a strong league,” Conte said.

“You have to prepare because there are six top teams at the start of the season ready to fight for a place in the Champions League.

“It can happen. In the past it happened. Don’t forget two years ago Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the final of the FA Cup, not in the semi-final of Carabao Cup.”