Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists the fight for a top-four finish is giving The Blue’s all the inspiration and motivation they require, regardless of Premier League table toppers Manchester City getting out of reach.
Conte’s side recovered from the disappointing outing at St James park of a pre-Christmas draw with Everton by beating Brighton 2-0 on Tuesday to close the gap with second-placed Manchester United with a point.
With Pep-Guardiola side on a record-breaking run of triumphs, Conte concedes there appears a minimal possibility of closing the huge gap. But the Italian insisted last season’s champions are still motivated.
“I think in this league there is a great motivation for all. To try, I repeat, to stay there and to fight until the end,” he said.
“I don’t know if it will win the title. It depends upon Manchester City. They are doing something extraordinary to win every game and draw only once up to now. That means you’re having a fantastic run.
“Otherwise, Chelsea, United, Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool would be staying there to fight. We fight for a place in the Champions League next season.
“There is this great motivation for me, for the players, and we want to try and improve.
“Our start wasn’t easy this season, for many reasons. But we want to work and improve. There are many competitions.
“It’s important to face every competition and be very proud to play every game.”
Vidal transfer speculation
Conte wants to strengthen his squad in January and expressed his admiration for the Chilean and Bavarian midfielder Arturo Vidal after being questioned about reports linking the box-box midfielder with a move to Stamford Bridge.
“I must be honest, it’s not right to talk about a player of another team, he said.
“Especially if you try to link this player with us. Arturo is a fantastic player, I have a great respect for Arturo, and we spent many years in Juventus together. I’d always want him with me.“