Conference Call: Happy and satisfied
news Sat 19 May 2018
After guiding his side to FA Cup glory at Wembley, Antonio Conte spoke of his happiness at ending what has been a difficult campaign by winning an important trophy.
The eighth FA Cup success in our history was secured courtesy of a first-half Eden Hazard penalty, the only goal of the game, as the Blues overcame Manchester United in a repeat scoreline of the 2007 triumph against the same opposition exactly 11 years to the day.
There were a few scares in the second half as Jose Mourinho’s side attempted to hit back, while Marcos Alonso passed up a great opportunity to extend our lead, but over the course of the game we defended well and made the most of an opportunity when it fell our way.
Conte reflected on the game, and the season as a whole.
‘I’m very satisfied because today it was very difficult to win the FA Cup against a really great team like Man United so we must be pleased,’ said the Italian. ‘It wasn’t easy but I’m very happy for our fans and my players. They deserve this win, to win an important trophy in a season which was very difficult for many reasons.
‘At the start of the season I predicted the difficulty but despite this we finished fifth, won the FA Cup and lost in the semi-final of the League Cup. To miss out on a place in the Champions League is not good for a club like Chelsea and we must be honest to say that, myself and the players, but at the same time you have to know the real situation, to understand this group of players did their best and fifth was the position we deserved. But to finish in this way and to win an important trophy showed great commitment and desire from my players.
‘For sure when you are used to winning every season, this type of season can create some problems in yourself because when you have this type of season there are moments when you have a lot of questions for yourself. But also in a difficult season I showed I am a serial winner and this is the proof. To win in this way has given me more satisfaction than my wins in the past.’
Conte was asked what his own future holds
‘I have a contract and I am committed to this club. From the start of the season, because don’t forget the speculation started after our first defeat to Burnley, my position was always the same, I’m committed.
‘One day there was speculation about me going with the national team, another day it was to go with another important team, but in every press conference I said I was committed to this club. I respect my contract but our job is not simple. I understand the club can make a decision, positive or negative, I’m the first to understand because I’m the coach of a great and an important club, and it’s right the club demand a lot from me. You have to understand if this season we had the maximum or not.
‘I have great respect for my club and for sure they will make the best decision. I’m the first to accept any decision for the future because after these two seasons I will always love this colour, this club and the fans if my future is in a different way.
‘I think that after two years the club know me very well. If they want to continue to work with me they know me. I can’t change. My way is always the same; hard work and to build a strong identity with my players, I can’t change. I’m like this. My past speaks very clear as a player and manager.
‘You can say what you want but I’m a serial winner, I’ve shown that in England last year, after a difficult 10th-place finish, and I showed it today because we found the right way to lift this trophy. I’m very happy for the players and fans, but at the same time I’m happy for the club. In two seasons I brought two trophies for the club.’
Alvaro Morata was a late sub at Wembley today and Conte believes the Spaniard deserves to go to the World Cup with Spain
‘Absolutely. Morata is in really good form and today I made an important decision because I felt the only way to win was to play a really strong physical player like Giroud to hold up the ball and link with Hazard.
‘But for sure Alvaro is an important player. It’s not my task, I did this job with the national team, but for the World Cup it’s right for Morata to be in the squad of 23 and play in the World Cup. I’m the first to put my hand in the fire, I see him every day and after a tough season he has improved a lot.’