Last two Prem title-winning bosses sacked after failing to build on success
ANTONIO CONTE admits he fears the sack – and making it a HAT-TRICK of axed title-winners.
Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri were dismissed the season after lifting the Premier League – and Conte says his squad are nowhere near ready to defend their crown.
The Chelsea boss said: “Two coaches have been sacked from Chelsea and Leicester after winning the league and I want to avoid this and the players want to avoid the bad season they had with Mourinho.
“We know the next season will be tough and we want to avoid what happened in the previous seasons for Chelsea, two years ago the team finished in 10th place in the Premier League.
“We are working very well and we hope to find the best solution in the future. We have a lot of young players and if necessary we will have to try to put these players.”
Two seasons ago, Mourinho was at Chelsea and got the boot seven months after finishing top.
Then last season Claudio Ranieri got fired in February despite pulling off one of the greatest triumphs in sport by leading Leicester to the title.
Mourinho even joked last season that the title was a poisoned chalice, insisting: “I think Antonio Conte has to think about whether he wants to be champion this year!”
But Conte is now fretting over his squad.
The Italian has publicly stated he needs players before the start of the season if Chelsea want to defend their title and compete in the Champions League.
So far they have spent £130million on Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger, plus Willy Caballero on a free transfer.
In yesterday’s friendly defeat to Inter Milan he played record-signing Morata as a left-sided forward, with Michy Batshuayi up front.
Conte said: “This is a necessity because I haven’t other players.
“Morata has starting training with us. He has to improve his condition to improve and go quickly in our idea of football.
“He’s working very well and from only five days and today he tried to do his best what we asked him to do.”
Conte says his players were tired during the 2-1 defeat to Inter, with Stevan Jovetic and Ivan Perisic scoring before Geoffrey Kondogbia’s stunning 45-yard lobbed own goal.
Chelsea’s Far East tour has included Kenedy damaging the club’s reputation in China with his infamous Instagram posts.
And the champs have also lost to Bayern Munich and Inter, with echoes of the season Mourinho was axed when they failed to win a game in normal time and lost to New York Red Bulls and Fiorentina.
Conte said: “We had to play three games with the same players and we are very tired.”
Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog