Antonio Conte does not think that he is in the business of keeping his players happy. The Chelsea manager, on the verge of a remarkable double in his first season at Stamford Bridge, said that he does not worry whether his players are happy or not, only whether they are winning.
Speaking at his press conference at Cobham on Friday afternoon, Conte was asked whether he could keep Cesc Fabregas happy as an occasional starter in his team. Fabregas, formerly of Arsenal and Barcelona, has only started 10 of Chelsea’s Premier League games so far this season.
But Conte insisted that his job was not to make sure that his players are happy with how much football they are playing. His job is to keep Chelsea winning, and that is certainly going well for now.
“I would like to underline a concept,” Conte said. “I do not have to keep the players happy. We must win. You can be happy, come 10th, and play every game. If you are unhappy this season, fighting for the title, to win the FA Cup…I do not like when I hear this type of question.”
Conte was very clear where his priorities lie. “You speak about being happy,” he said. “I speak about winning and working very hard. To work very hard is not simple. The players are not always happy to work very hard.”
This is part of Conte’s job inculcating a winning mentality at Chelsea again after a disastrous collapse last season. “My target is to put into the minds of the players a winning mentality,” he said. “And a winning mentality does not exist to keep the players happy. It is very difficult to keep 20 players happy. I don’t want this. I want players ready to fight, to try to put themselves in the team, and try to win together. If you are happy or unhappy I don’t care.”Reuse content