Antonio Conte has warned Chelsea not to take anything for granted despite knowing they need just two wins from four games to win the Premier League title.
Conte on Friday afternoon was uncertain if he was going to watch Tottenham’s clash at West Ham on Friday night, given his wife and daughter were visiting from Italy.
But the Italian had reason to celebrate at the final whistle whether he watched the match or had a family dinner as Spurs’ 1-0 loss to the Hammers means Chelsea need six more points to claim the title.
Conte’s men play Middlesbrough on Monday and West Brom next Friday, so could reclaim the trophy won by Leicester last season ahead of Spurs’ next game, against Manchester United on May 14.
Conte said: “My expectation for this game is we must play a great game. We have to try to take three points.
“This game is very important. Now with only four games to go, it’s important to win. It won’t be easy.
“Middlesbrough is struggling to avoid relegation. We must be ready, ready to fight, ready to find the right way to take three points.”
Spurs had hoped their game against United – the last at White Hart Lane before the existing stadium is demolished – would be a celebration, but it maybe more about consolation if Chelsea win their next two games.
Conte has championship pedigree with Juventus in Serie A and is seeking a league and FA Cup double in his first season as Chelsea head coach. The May 27 FA Cup final against Arsenal follows the final four Premier League games.
Conte added: “I hope to arrive at the end of the season with my players and the club to celebrate something important this season.
“We are working very hard to reach this target.
“For me, it’s not the first time to win the title. I have a good experience to face this type of situation. But it won’t be easy until the end.”