Conte: Finish in the best way
News Sun 22 Apr 2018
Antonio Conte is hoping the FA Cup will provide his team with the opportunity to finish this season on a high, starting with victory over Southampton in today's semi-final.
We face the Saints at Wembley with Conte and his players eyeing a second consecutive appearance in the final, where Manchester United await the winners, and our boss is keen to end 2017/18 with a trophy.
'You have to know I play only to win, I don't play to enjoy,' he explained. 'I try to transfer this mentality to my players and every season I start with only one idea in my mind. In my mind, heart and soul I must always have this winning mentality and I try to transfer that to my players. If I win something I've done my job and if I don't I'm very angry with myself, but ready to work harder to win something at the next chance.
'In this difficult season it's important to try to finish in the best possible way. We have to play every game with fire in our eyes. The most important thing is, in every game to have the right spirit. Our fans deserve that and if we can do that it will be a successful season.
'To reach the semi-final for the second time in a row and play at Wembley, it's always a good achievement. To play this competition with the best teams in England, it's not simple to reach Wembley, so I'm very pleased for our fans. I think it's right to enjoy it, especially at this moment. It's important to enjoy a very good achievement, you have to try to win, everyone wants to win but only one team can.'
It is just one week since the last time we faced Southampton, coming from behind to beat them 3-2 at St Mary's last Saturday, and we made it back-to-back Premier League away victories with a win at Burnley on Thursday.
With those two performances in mind, Conte feels the decisive factor in our semi-final could be his players showing the same determination which secured the three points in our favour in those two fixtures.
'If we go to play with the right team spirit, like against Burnley and the last 30 minutes at Southampton, we have a possibility of reaching the final, but my players have to know this. We only have one way to follow, to go on the pitch with the fire in our eyes and the right desire to reach the final. We have half the crowd with us and we must give them the best satisfaction.'