It goes without saying Antonio Conte was unhappy with both the result and the performance in our concluding game of this league season, and he expressed his dissatisfaction with our final position in the table too, but there is at least a big opportunity remaining to end the season on a high.
The Blues fell to a 3-0 defeat against Newcastle on Tyneside on Sunday afternoon, meaning there was no point in keeping an eye on Liverpool’s game at Anfield, as our own defeat ensured us a fifth-place finish and Europa League rather than Champions League football next season.
Conte gave his verdict on the performance at St James’ Park shortly after the final whistle…
‘For sure we did not play a good game,’ he stated. ‘From the start Newcastle outplayed us I many aspects. I think they today showed great desire, great will to fight and to take three points and finish this season in the best possible way. I am sure we can do better than today.
‘For the next game, for sure we must change. If we think we can play a game like this in the final of the FA Cup then we don’t have a chance. We have six days to change our approach and desire and will to fight. I am the coach of this team and after a game like this, I am the first to answer for this bad game.’
Conte spoke of his own emotion while watching from the sideline…
‘There was a great frustration because in our mind there was will to finish the season in the best possible way. This time from the start we did not show the right will to finish the season in the best possible way. Newcastle outplayed us and deserved to win.
‘For sure I like to play to win, and this season I did not win the title. I won three with Juventus and one with Chelsea and when I start a season I always want to win. To finish fifth is the big disappointment for me.’
Focus now quickly turns from the league to the FA Cup, and a date with Manchester United at Wembley.
‘We have an important game in six days and now we have to prepare in a different way than today,’ declared Conte. ‘Our fans deserve more than today.’