Antonio Conte used Saturday’s earlier FA Cup shocks to “warn” his Chelsea players what could happen if they were not focused against Wolves, as he praised Lincoln City’s fifth-round win away to Burnley as an “incredible” feat that could not happen in his home country of Italy.
Before Chelsea won 2-0 at Molineux in the 5.30pm kick-off, both Lincoln and Millwall scored late winners in 1-0 victories over Burnley and Leicester City respectively, and the Italian said he spoke about this with his squad.
“The result this afternoon, I try to warn the changing room about the difficulty of this game, of this competition,” Conte said. “I like to repeat that in every competition you have to face doesn’t exist an easy game. It’s true, not because I like to repeat this.”
Asked about Lincoln, Conte was effusive in his praise.
“This a great achievement for them, and I think the people of the football, of the FA Cup, it’s incredible this, I think in Italy it’s impossible to happen this. It’s fantastic," he added.
“It shows that football is incredible, and anything can happen if you trust in the work and have a great will to fight. When you start, this challenge can be impossible but instead they are in the quarter-finals.
“They deserve to have great compliment, from the whole country
"It’s a fantastic story, history, and we must… I am pleased to live this story with them. Now we are with Lincoln in the quarter-final and it’s fantastic this."
Conte also praised Wolves, who made life very difficult for Chelsea, before Pedro and Diego Costa scored in the second half.
“Wolves started the game very well, with great intensity, try to develop the play and the flanks, put a lot of cross, but I think we defended very well, they hit post after five or six minutes," he said. "We were lucky in this circumstance, then in second half we played our football, played very well, created chances to implement the results.
“But I think Wolves deserve my compliment for the performance, because they played very well, they showed good organisation and good character."
Conte, however, insisted that it is still too soon to talk about about a potential double.
“It’s early to talk about this but, for sure, we are in this two competitions and in the league we are doing a great job and to stay on top of the table, now the FA Cup quarter-final, and I am pleased, pleased for this, it means we are doing very well, working very well but honestly, everyone after this game, it’s important to understand nothing is easy.”
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