Conte: ‘Players not affected by sack rumours’

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge has been the subject of constant speculation over recent months.

A combination of the 48-year-old’s constant bickering with The Blues board over transfer policy, and a run of poor results in 2018, have lead to rumours that he is about to be sacked and replaced by former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

However, speaking before his sides crunch Premier League fixture against West Brom tomorrow, Conte denied that the speculation over his position at the club has negatively affected his sides performances on the pitch, when he said:

“Honestly I don’t think talk about my future can affect the players. Otherwise from the first game we lost against Burnley, it could happen.

“I think my players are getting used to these rumours, to this speculation, but for sure I am very happy with the commitment of my players, the behaviour of my players because they show me every day they want to overcome this situation.

“We are talking about a team that is fourth in the league [before the start of the weekend fixtures], is preparing to face the game against Barcelona, we are in the FA Cup competition and we reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.”

Conte enjoyed a superb first year in English football, winning the Premier League and reaching the FA Cup Final.

However, Chelsea have lost their last two league fixtures against Bournemouth and Watford. So the former Juventus coach will go into tonight’s game against Alan Pardew’s Baggies aware that his club’s owner Roman Abramovich, has sacked every manager that he has employed who lost three consecutive games.