Antonio Conte laid down a clear challenge to the Chelsea board describing himself as “a serial winner” that the club must either back or sack him as he enters a summer of uncertainty following his team’s 1-0 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
Eden Hazard’s first half penalty was enough to secure Conte his second major honour in two years in English football but even with a year left on his contract his future is in serious doubt.
Having repeatedly clashed with the board over transfers this season, there is a desire on both sides for a parting of the way but Conte is determined that the decision is made by the club.
He said: “I think after two years the club knows me very well. If they want to continue to work with me, they know me. I can’t change. My way is always the same: hard work and building a strong mentality with my players. I can’t change. I’m this. I’m this and I think my past speaks very clear as a player and as a manager.
“You can say what you want, but I’m a serial winner. I showed this in England in a difficult moment for the club, after tenth place [in 2015-2016]. I’ve showed this also today, because we found the right way to win this trophy. I’m very happy for the players, I’m very happy for our fans. At the same time I’m happy for the club. The decision to change me, in two seasons I brought two trophies for this club.”
It still feels inevitable that Conte will leave with Luis Enrique his most likely successor. He said that he had got the “maximum” from his squad. “As you know very well our job is not simple. I understand that the club can make a decision, a positive decision, a negative decision.”
Jose Mourinho said that he congratulated his former club but added that they “had not deserved to win”. He said that Romelu Lukaku had declared himself unfit to play although he eventually called on the Belgian from the bench in the second half.
He said: “I think our team did a fantastic defensive job without defending … they only played long balls to [Olivier] Giroud to flick. When you play against a team so predictable it’s quite easy to adapt to it. I thought we wouldn’t concede any goal in this match. But of course Hazard is a very good player and he created a penalty.”
Source: Sam Wallace|| The Telegraph