May 13, 2018

Conte: I Must Answer Criticism  (Sky Sports)

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte says he must face the music after Chelsea's 3-0 defeat by Newcastle extinguished any faint Champions League hopes for next season.

Conte's Chelsea were comfortably second best at St James' Park, and with Liverpool's 4-0 win over Brighton, last season's Premier League champions will play Europa League football next season.

The Italian's future is still up for debate at Stamford Bridge, but with an FA Cup final to come against Manchester United on Saturday, Conte rued a woeful performance on Sunday.

Asked whether this was his last Premier League game, Conte told Sky Sports: "In this season for sure. I will see, I have a contract, and I am committed for this club."

He had earlier said: "I think our start wasn't good, and we suffered from the start. Newcastle looked more determined than us, for sure we didn't lose the Champions League on the last two games, because the chances were zero, but to finish this season this way is no good, no good for the players, no good for the fans.

"Now we have six days to prepare the last game of the season, the final of the FA Cup, and for sure we need to change. Our start today wasn't good.

"When you are at the end of the season, it can happen, but when there is this situation, the first person to answer for this is the coach. If we didn't have the spirit, this will, this desire, I am the first person to answer for this. The other team was more determined than us.

"As I said before, the situation wasn't in our hands, and it was very difficult to try to take a place in the Champions League.

"One month ago we had ten points less than Tottenham and Liverpool, with six games to go, it was very difficult to take a place in the Champions League."

Chelsea have finished outside of the top four for just the third team in 16 seasons, and Conte is odds-on to leave the club in the summer.

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