Conte eyes Premier League success with Chelsea

Antonio Conte has won countless honours as a player and coach but leading Chelsea to Premier League glory would stand above it all.

"Now, to win the title in England is a great achievement. A top achievement for the coach, the players and the club."   -  Getty Images

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes winning the Premier League title would stand as the greatest achievement of his coaching career.

Conte arrived at Chelsea having steered an unfancied Italy to the quarterfinal of Euro 2016 – a post he took having won three consecutive Serie A crowns with Juventus.

But picking up the pieces of a talented squad that limped to 10th place last time around stands apart for the Italian, whose side is four points clear of Tottenham at the summit with six games remaining.

Chelsea's Kante bags top award

"Yes, for sure it would be my greatest achievement," said Conte, who has a domestic double in his sights having masterminded a 4-2 FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.

"Now, to win the title in England is a great achievement. A top achievement for the coach, the players and the club.

"To win in England these days is not easy. To win this league is difficult, so we must be proud in our work. We must know that, now, it's a good season.

"It will remain a good season. But we want it to become a great season, a fantastic season. To become a great or fantastic season there is only one way: to win [the title]. This is a crucial week for us."

Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday followed by a weekend trip to Everton represent Chelsea's two most testing remaining assignments in a season where it has outshone big-spending rivals.

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will reconvene for the Manchester derby on Thursday, with City a point and a spot above fifth-placed opponents United, who hope to have world-record signing Paul Pogba fit and available.

"I think, this season, it's very important to understand it's not always about who spends the most money," Conte told reporters.

"This season isn't the only season the Manchester clubs have spent a lot of money. It's normal.

"It's right for them to do this, to reinforce their teams, if they think this is the right way to win the title. You've seen the past – every season, they spend a lot of money.

"If you have to spend money, try to spend that money in the right way to take players with the right characteristics for your idea of football.

"But, for us, this season is very important because we are trying to build something for the present, to put down the foundations, and be stronger for the future. To become a real power in the future."

One expertly executed piece of business by Conte was bringing on N'Golo Kante from reigning champion Leicester City.

The France international was named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday and his manager hailed the 26-year-old as a quietly influential figure.

"He’s a silent leader," he added. "N'Golo is young so he can improve in this aspect. When you arrive in a great team like Chelsea it's very difficult to try to speak and lead.

"I think he's a silent leader, and a leader on the pitch by example. He's not the type of player who likes to speak out. He's not John Terry in terms of his personality. He's different."