?Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has once more denied growing speculation that he could quit the club, insisting that he will only leave Stamford Bridge if the club wants him to go.
Given the size of the club and the level of expectation, particularly after last season’s record breaking Premier League title, Conte claimed it would be ‘strange’ if he wasn’t under pressure.
“In one moment you stay here, in another moment another person replaces you. For the manager of this club it’s normal to have this type of situation,” the Italian is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
“I have a lot of experience to deal with this type of situation,” he added.
Pressure has been on Conte since the summer when it was rumoured that he was unhappy with the level or recruitment, with the return of Champions League football expected to stretch what was ultimately a very small title winning squad in 2016/17.
That only intensified after the reigning champions were humbled on the opening day of the season by Burnley and has resurfaced every time further points have been dropped in light of Manchester City running away with the title.
“There is something strange if, after the first game we lost against Burnley, the press pushed quickly to sack me for another coach,” Conte said.
“I think in other clubs this doesn’t happen. In this case, I think the club has to decide to send me away,” he stated, insisting he will not quit.
It is not the first time he has made such a promise, stating shortly before Christmas that he intends to honour his contract.
Chelsea are back in Premier League action on Saturday when Leicester visit Stamford Bridge and will return to second place ahead of Manchester United, who don’t play until Monday, with a win.