Winning over happiness for Chelsea's Conte

Winning, not happiness, is paramount for head coach Antonio Conte as Chelsea close in on the Premier League title.

AntonioConte-cropped

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte   -  Getty Images

Winning, not happiness, is paramount for head coach Antonio Conte as Chelsea close in on the Premier League title.

Runaway leader Chelsea is eight points clear atop the table after 25 rounds, ahead of nearest rival Manchester City.

Despite its stellar form in 2016-17, Chelsea has not been without problems following a disagreement between Conte and striker Diego Costa.

Cesc Fabregas has also struggled to break into the starting XI, while Chelsea great and veteran John Terry has watched from afar.

Conte said he is at Stamford Bridge to win titles, not to keep all his players happy ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round fixture against Wolves.

"The most important thing, the target, is to win, not to try to have 21 players happy," Conte said. "I want to be happy, but I'm happy if we win. Not if we lose and have 21 players happy.

"To be happy we go to the theatre, [to] the cinema.

"I want the players to try to fight to put me [under] pressure, [to give me] problems to solve, to make the best solution for the team. We must continue to put the team above all."

"I want to give them great respect, because I demand this. I think that's the right way to have a good dressing room," Conte continued.

"Believe me it's not easy to have these types of players, this type of group. I think we're growing a lot in these seven months in all these aspects."

"If the player wants to ask me, the player knows very well that my door is always open. When you are honest in your choices, you can always see your players straight in the eyes."

  Dugout videos