Conte praises ´fantastic´ Luis Enrique

Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will go into tonight's Premier League fixture against West Brom in the knowledge that a defeat will nearly certainly result in his sacking.

Conte is also keen to point out what Chelsea have achieved this season, despite the perceived "crisis" at Stamford Bridge.

Striker Alexis Sanchez and defender Virgil van Dijk were among the players linked to Chelsea in January, but they went to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.

Asked if he thought Chelsea's current squad could be improved, Conte said: "I don't know". I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers, in that aspect. "I have, usually, a great respect [for fellow managers]". The situation is a far cry from May, when a 1-0 victory over the same opponents at The Hawthorns wrapped up a convincing Premier League title triumph. If I have a player who is 8/10, I take him to 10/10.

"I'm this type of coach. My task is this and for this, I'm very good".

"Honestly I don't think talk about my future can affect the players".

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Meanwhile, Conte admitted he is a big admirer of his potential successor Luis Enrique.

It seems inevitable now that Conte's tenure at Chelsea will be cut short at the end of 2017-18, with Luis Enrique reportedly agreeing on personal terms to be his replacement.

"I think that I'm the type of coach who if I have a player who is 6/10, I bring him to an 8/10".

"I have spoken with him, and he's a really good person", Sky Sports News quotes him as saying. I have great admiration for Luis Enrique and he is a fantastic coach.

"We are talking about a team that is fourth in the league [before the start of the weekend fixtures], is preparing to face the game against Barcelona, we are in the FA Cup competition and we reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup", he explained.

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