Conte insists he will come back stronger despite doubts over future

There has been speculation over Conte’s future since last summer

Antonio Conte insists he will come back stronger next season – even with his future at Chelsea seemingly still on the line.

The Blues boss delivered the Premier League title following a successful first campaign at Stamford Bridge but his side has come nowhere near to defending the crown this year.

Having lost 3-1 at home to Tottenham last weekend, Chelsea are now fifth, well adrift of the Champions League places ahead of Sunday’s meeting with West Ham.

The feeble surrender of their title has seen Conte’s position come under increasing scrutiny and it still remains unclear if he will be in charge at the start of next season.

But, on a personal level at least, the Italian believes such a period can only make him better in the future.

“You become stronger after a defeat,” he said.

[/media-credit] Losing to Tottenham was a major blow for Conte’s side

“When you win, you don’t see always the problem. When you don’t win, you have a lot of strength to try to change the situation, to try to have a good answer. A defeat makes you stronger than a win.

“After a defeat, it’s really difficult to sleep. For me, it was very difficult when I was a player.

“It’s very difficult now as a manager. I think it’s right to feel this bad sensation because if you win or lose. It’s always the same, you feel something wrong with yourself – that you are not a winner. You are a loser.”

With just three league wins since the turn of the year, it is clear there are issues at Chelsea and that breaking into the top four to secure Champions League qualification looks a dwindling prospect.

Indeed, Conte admits the club must now keep an eye on what is happening below them, as well as above, with Arsenal five points behind.

“As I’ve said before – we have to try our best every single game,” he added.

“To look forward but at the same time look behind. It’s right. The only thing that we can do and try to do every game is to show great desire, great pride and to try to finish this season in the best position in the table.

“There is a great gap with Man City. The table is showing this. Now, to speak about the gap between us and Manchester City, is not right.

“Now the most important thing is to be focused on the present and to try to finish this season in the best possible way.”