Chelsea have spent the better part of the last two weeks celebrating a title that was the furthest thing from our minds just eight months ago. We now face the team, which administered that low-point of the season, and while Chelsea have already avenged the 3-0 loss at the Emirates with a 3-1 win at the Bridge, the FA Cup final at Wembley is an entirely different proposition.
“We must keep the right concentration, I think in this aspect we could start as underdog because we won the league and we celebrate the league, it was right to enjoy the moment.”
“On the other side we face a team that lost the possibility to play in the Champions League, they have this only this possibility to save the season. We must pay great attention and focus and it is right to show great desire. On this aspect I trust a lot in my players. They always show me they are ready to reach a big target to win the league, tomorrow it will be a tough game but we are ready to fight and play a great game.”
Trust is a relatively new word in the Conte sound-bite vocabulary, but after a season that’s exceeded all expectations, it’s only fair to start including it alongside the usual suspects of hard work, commitment, desire, ambition, etc. (Incidentally, it wasn’t that long ago that ‘betray’ was the word of the moment, showing just how far we’ve come in a year and a half.)
"I saw a lot of attention; we trained very well in this week. This aspect I can stay calm and I trust the players, it is impossible not to after this season. For 90 minutes we have to forget that we won the league and concentrate on this target. It is a fantastic target and we don't know if in the future we have the chance to win this trophy."
-Antonio Conte; source: Football.London
At the start of the season, in his very first press conference as Chelsea head coach, Conte also talked about finding the “small flame” still flickering in the ruins of Chelsea’s 10th place finish and building that into a “blazing inferno”. Now we have to keep that fire going for 90 more minutes.
“For this reason we must find motivation and find in ourselves the right anger. The game will be very difficult...”
“We must prepare in the right way. I'm not talking tactically. I'm talking about motivation, the right fire in our soul and our hearts.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Goal