Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has challenged his players to continuing fighting to improve despite winning the Premier League in his inaugural season in England.
The Blues won the title with dominance after a disastrous campaign last season and are still to play in the FA Cup final against Arsenal at the Wembley Stadium.
However, Conte said that he is still not satisfied with the teams improvement as he said that all he has seen is a “small flame flickering that can grow into a blazing inferno,”
Conte added that he does not want his players to relax just because they have won the league in his debut season.
“Yeah, but I think that we started to light the fire. This is very important. If you want to be a good season, you must have always this fire in your soul, in your heart, in your head. It’s very important. I think that, about me, we have just started this.”
“It’s very difficult to answer this question because, now, I repeat, it’s important to be focused on finishing the league. Then, together with the club, we have to take the best decision for next season.”
“It’s normal because, I repeat, we must have a winning mentality. If you have the winning mentality, you want to continue to win every season. It’s not easy because, above all in England, there are many teams who want to do the same things.”
“But we have to continue to work very hard, maybe stronger than this season, to try to repeat a good season. But when you have the winning mentality and you want to win every game… if there is someone that is happy to see his past, then he’s not a winner. He’s a loser.”
“The past is good. The past is beautiful if you won in your past. You can see your past. But, in the present and the future, it’s not important if you are a winner. If you are a loser then you always stay looking behind you and you won’t win.”
“But for me I hate this word: ‘relaxed’. Relax, relax… I hate this word. I prefer to tell you and use this word ‘enjoy’ instead. Enjoy your achievement. We had a path, a very difficult path, this season so it’s important to enjoy the win with the players, the club and the fans.”
“We worked very hard. But relax? No. I don’t like this. I want people who stay, every day, concentrated and preparing for a new win.”
Conte also revealed that his favorite celebratory drink is red wine as he said that he will head-off to a relaxing holiday in the summer.
“I think maybe to buy a house in Italy,” Conte said when asked what he might do with his bonus. “Yes. Yeah, in Lecce I have all my parents and, for sure, I hope to spend a bit of time in Lecce on my holidays, to go to Turin and also to Italy.”
“[I want a] Very calm holiday. For me, it’s an opportunity because, in the last season, I had no chance to have a holiday because we started after three days from the Euro with Chelsea. I have spent a few days with my parents and the place I was born.”