‘I will never worry about sack,’ says Antonio Conte after Chelsea comeback
Antonio Conte said the fear of being sacked by Chelsea has never gripped him after his team overturned a deficit against Watford to win 4-2 and ease the pressure that has been building during a difficult autumn.
A defeat would have been Chelsea’s third league reverse in a row and their patchy form has drawn obvious parallels with the disastrous title defence of 2015-16. That season, José Mourinho did not last beyond mid-December; Conte has been subjected to the usual murmurings that accompany poor results but said he is not worried about losing his job.
“I feel a lot of pressure but not this type of pressure,” he said. “If the club decides to sack me, honestly, I don’t feel this pressure. I trust in my work, I try to give everything for the club; I did this last season, I’m doing it this season and I will never be worried about this – never.”
Conte explained the only pressure he feels is that of satisfying the club’s support and rewarding them for “a lot of patience”. They needed it on an afternoon when Watford had chances to put the game beyond them and it was a substitute, Michy Batshuayi, who scored two of the goals that turned the game around.
“When you play three games [in a week] and are using the same players it’s important to make important decisions,” Conte said of Batshuayi’s 51st-minute introduction. “Sometimes the decision works, sometimes it doesn’t, but today I was lucky. If you compare this season with last, Michy is now playing a lot. Against Crystal Palace his performance was not good but it wasn’t only him … Today the impact was incredible, important, and we must continue this way.”
He praised the mentality shown by his players, who withheld a barrage rarely experienced during his tenure in the second half. “To overcome this kind of moment makes you stronger,” he said. “When we were at 2-1 down it was a very difficult moment, maybe the worst for us, and to come back was important. It means these players have a great desire not to accept this situation.”
His Watford counterpart, Marco Silva, admitted to being unhappy at the erroneous award of a corner for Chelsea’s first goal but preferred to focus on his team’s assertive performance. “It’s a really unfair result, we didn’t deserve it,” Silva said. “Even one point is not fair for us. If you score the third goal you have the chance to control the match but Chelsea started to believe and put fresh players on the field like Batshuayi, who made the difference.”
Antonio Conte congratulates Michy Batshuayi, who came on as a substitute and scored two goals in Chelsea’s 4-2 victory over Watford.