MANAGER Antonio Conte says he hopes Chelsea under his stewardship will light up the English Premier League title race this season, as he declared that EPL is difficult to win.
The 46-year-old tactician who guided Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 said the Blues enjoy low rating at the moment after finishing 10th in their title defence last term.
“We are under-rated a bit, and might slip under the radar, but I hope there’s a small flame flickering here that can hopefully grow into a blazing inferno,” said Conte at his unveiling to the media at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
The Italian, who rejected the opportunity to follow the example of predecessor ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho and give himself a nickname, said a club the size of Chelsea shouldn’t be scrabbling around in mid-table.
“When you are a player, a footballer, or a manager of a great club like Chelsea, you must play to win,” said Conte, who also took the opportunity to confirm Chelsea icon, John Terry remains the club captain.
“To win. To win the title. Or to fight and, at the end, to compete with the other teams to win the title and reach your targets.
“I know that this league (EPL) is very, very difficult because there are six or seven teams who can win the title. For this reason, this situation is very exciting for me. It excites me, this situation.
“We know that, this year, it won’t be easy for us because if we think about the last season and 10th position… Last season was a bad season, yes?
“I know, that there is only one team who wins the title. But we must stay there at the end of the season, to fight for the title and be there for the Champions League. Chelsea belongs to the Champions League, and we must stay there.”