Antonio Conte insists he is NOT out for revenge as he returns to Chelsea for the first time since his 2018 sacking in the Carabao Cup semi-final with Tottenham this week
- Antonio Conte was sacked by Chelsea a year after winning the Premier League
- Now as Tottenham boss, Conte is eyeing the club’s first trophy in 14 years
- Conte returns to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup
Antonio Conte is adamant he has nothing to prove to Chelsea as he prepares for his first return to Stamford Bridge since being sacked in 2018.
Tottenham travel to west London for the first-leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday, a game that sees Conte go back to the club that unceremoniously dumped him four years ago despite winning the Premier League title and an FA Cup during his two seasons in charge.
At the time, the Italian’s exit came amid a backdrop of tensions between the head coach and the Chelsea board over various issues – namely player recruitment.
Antonio Conte insists he has nothing to prove to Chelsea as he returns to Stamford Bridge
Conte won the Premier League at the club in 2017 but was ruthlessly sacked just a year later
But Conte says despite those previous hostilities, he will not be motivated by revenge at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
‘We did a really good job and I think in my position I mustn’t prove anything to anyone,’ said Conte.
‘I’m a manager that has experience and continues to have experience in my career and do important jobs at other teams.
‘It’ll be a pleasure for me to come back to Stamford Bridge because I spent two important seasons with Chelsea and left a lot of good relationships with the players who continue to play for Chelsea. It’ll be good for me to see them.’
Conte revealed Tottenham are sweating on two further potential Covid cases ahead of the clash as he finalises what is set to be a strong starting XI.
Victory in the forthcoming London derby would see Spurs take a major step towards ending their near 14-year wait for a trophy.
But the Italian has moved to ease the pressure on his side by claiming his former club are better equipped to seal their passage to Wembley.
‘I think that for everyone it’s always very important to win trophies – for the club, for the players, for the managers. On one hand, I have to tell you this,’ added Conte.
Now with Tottenham, Conte is trying to end their 14-year wait without winning a trophy
Tottenham ground out a hard fought 1-0 win against Watford on Saturday in the league
‘On the other, I think you have to build to win trophies. You can’t win trophies by speaking and saying you want to win. But then you have to be good and build something ready to win.
‘I think at this moment, Chelsea is more ready than us to win. They won last season the Champions League.
‘I think we have a lot of space for improvement, to be a team with aspiration to win. Then for sure, we’ll do everything to reach the final of this trophy.
‘But I repeat: to use this verb or word ‘to win’ is more simple than winning because to win you have to build something important, be solid, have an important squad. Then you’re ready to win. Otherwise you have to hope.’