Ahead of the game against Chelsea’s city rivals, Antonio Conte has spoken about the importance of this game and the passion that’s required to win it. I would be remiss if I failed to point out the importance of a game which will put us within two points of a team that’s not only our city rivals but also lying in the fourth position.
The fact that Liverpool came from behind against Crystal Palace, yesterday, to win the game, makes this derby even more important as the Reds are refusing to show any sign of slowing down. Here’s our gaffer speaking about the same.
“We know if we want to have a chance to play in the Champions League next season, we need to win.
“It’s a derby, an important game for us, especially because we need to take three points. We must be focused on the pitch to try to reach this target. It won’t be easy because we have to play against a really good team who are ahead of us now.
“Our mentality must always be the same. It’s the only way if you want to reach something important at the end of the season: to always have a winning mentality if you are playing against this team or that team. The difference mustn’t change in our mind.”
This might be music to the ears of the Chelsea fans who were disappointed at the defeatist approach shown by the team against Manchester City at Etihad. Of course, this game is at Stamford Bridge but the fact that Conte sees this game as a must win and he is not ready to accept anything less than three points is certainly refreshing to read.
This game must be treated as a must-win as well because Spurs will definitely be happy with a draw. They’re the ones in the driving seat as they’re five points ahead of us and they’re going to a ground where they’ve not won in 28 years and counting. We must take the game to them, and not allow them to settle down and dominate the proceedings.
“It’s very important for the players to show their passion and enthusiasm during the game. Passion is the first important thing in football: for the coach and the player. If you don’t have passion, it’s very difficult to reach something good in football, as a player and a manager.
“When I was a player, I showed in every moment my passion during the game, on and off the pitch.”
-Antonio Conte; Source: Chelsea FC
In recent weeks, it’s looking more and more likely that Antonio Conte’s reign at Chelsea might be coming to an end. I sincerely doubt that a person like Conte, who is known for his voracious appetite for success, would want his Chelsea career to end with the Blues failing to qualify for Champions League and being the first manager in 28 years to lose to Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte's record at Chelsea in all competitions:— iChelseaTweets (@iChelseaTweets) March 26, 2018
That’s not the kind of a legacy Conte would want to leave us with and who knows, maybe Chelsea’s win against Spurs might lead to a turnaround in our fortunes and may even lead to Conte staying at this great club of ours. Who knows. For now, we must not look too far ahead and focus on the task at hand: defeating Spurs at all costs.