Conte still wary of Blues’ pursuers

- Agence France-Presse, BURNLEY

Feb 14, 2017-Antonio Conte believes any of six teams could still win the Premier League despite his Chelsea side moving 10 points clear at the summit after drawing 1-1 at Burnley.

Chelsea negotiated a potentially difficult visit to Turf Moor on Sunday, where Burnley have the third-best home record in the division, behind only Chelsea themselves and Tottenham Hotspur. But despite the solid result, and commanding lead at the top of the table over second-place Tottenham, Conte refused to discuss his team’s increasingly strong chances of winning the championship.

“That’s normal. There are 13 games before the end,” said the Chelsea manager, whose side’s lead will be cut to eight points if Manchester City win at Bournemouth. “If someone thinks this league is finished, I can tell you now, no. There are six teams for me that can win the league and anything can happen. We must continue to work in this way. I am happy for the commitment and the will to win. You can only take one point, but I am sure of the commitment. We have to think only of ourselves, not the other teams.”

While Spurs are 10 points back, there are four teams—Arsenal, Liverpool, City and Manchester United—within two points of Mauricio Pochettino’s side and ready to pounce if Chelsea falter. Pedro shot Chelsea into an early lead at Burnley, who were looking for a sixth consecutive top-flight home league victory for the first time in 56 years. But Robbie Brady, the club-record £13 million January signing from Norwich City, marked his home debut with a superb freekick leveller mid-way through the first half.

“I am disappointed because our mentality must be that we have to try always to win and we did this today,” said Conte. “But sometimes you must understand that there are tough games and this was very tough, but I am pleased we tried to win. I am disappointed for the result, not for the commitment and the will to win. I like to always to take three points.”

Conte was also quizzed about comments made by former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho after his current club Manchester United beat Watford 24 hours earlier. The Portuguese manager made a veiled reference to Chelsea’s style of play, labelling them “defensive”, but Conte laughed off the comments. “I don’t like to reply to the other coaches,” Conte said. “I don’t like this. He is joking. I have experience to understand this.”

 

Standings

Teams    P     W     D     L     GF    GA     PTS

Chelsea    25     19    3    3    52    18    60

Spurs    25     14    8    3    46    18    50

Arsenal    25     15    5    5    54    28    50

Liverpool    25     14    7    4    54    30    49

Man City    24     15    4    5    49    29    49

Man United    25     13    9    3    38    21    48

Everton    25     11    8    6    40    27    41

West Brom    25     10    7    8    34    31    37

Stoke    25    8    8    9    30    36    32

West Ham    25    9    5     11    34    43    32

Southampton    25    8    6     11    28    31    30

Burnley    25    9    3     13    27    36    30

Watford    25    8    6     11    29    42    30

Bournemouth    24    7    5     12    35    47    26

Swansea    25    7    3     15    31    54    24

Middlesbrough    25    4     10     11    19    27    22

Leicester    25    5    6     14    24    43    21

Hull    25    5    5     15    22    49    20

Palace    25    5    4     16    32    46    19

Sunderland    25    5    4     16    24    46    19

Published: 14-02-2017 09:28

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