Conte: Players must have great respect for the badge

Antonio Conte has called on his charges to play for the respect of the Chelsea badge and not to help him save his job.

The Blues have failed to live-up to expectations of the previous campaign, where they clinched the league title in the first year under the Italian manager.

However, the London club has had a rough 2017/18 campaign and their only chance of silverware is the FA Cup.

They are also seven points off a place in the top four in the English Premier League, but the Italian manager has denied suggestions that the players came to the party against Southampton to help him avoid the sack at the end of the season.

“I was a player, and the players must play every game, and not for me, but for the club, and for the fans,” Conte said.

“They must have great respect for this badge; they don’t have to play for the coach.

“They have to play for the club, our fans, and to show great character like today. This is the best possible way for a player to be a fantastic professional.”

Conte praised his charges to have comeback from a disappointing first half to win the match 3-2 against Southampton over the weekend.

“Especially in this type of situation, when there is great difficulty, you must show yourself first to be a man and then a player.

“They did this in the second half against Southampton.”