Premier League: Don’t play for me – Conte tells Chelsea players
Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, has told his players not to play to please him but rather show more commitment to the club in the last few weeks of the season.
Chelsea came back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2 at the weekend.
Their away victory was their first for nearly three months and just their second of 2018.
The difficult spell has only heightened speculation about the future of Conte, with many expecting the Italian to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
Conte has told his players they must play for the club, rather than for him, over the next few weeks.
He told Metro UK, “The players must play like this [in the second half against Southampton] in every game, not for me, but for the club.
“They must have great respect for the fans. They have to play for the club, for our fans, and to show great character like they did in this game.
“This is the best possible way for a player to show they are a fantastic professional.”
Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are virtually over, with fourth-place Tottenham seven points ahead with five games to play.
Conte added, “I was a player, and the players must play every game, and not for me, but for the club, and for the fans. They must have great respect for this badge, they don’t have to play for the coach.