Burnley sit just eight points behind Chelsea with five Premier League games left to go as they battle for a Europa League spot, but Antonio Conte thinks that is more “simple” to be Burnley’s manager than to manage the defending champions.
Sean Dyche is likely to secure a top seven finish for Burnley this season which should be enough to see the club qualify for European competition for the first time in 51 years. And, Conte has been impressed with Dyche’s leadership but he insists that Burnley have been able to play without the pressure to win silverware, unlike his Chelsea side.
“He [Dyche] is doing an important job,” Conte told reporters. “I think that he is doing a great job in this season, but I think if you start the season to fight to avoid the relegation zone, it is more simple. It is more simple. Also if you have a small budget, because you count on a team that you [worked with] in the past.
“You then reach the qualification to play again in the Europa League. It is more difficult when you have to prepare the transfer market to win something, because only one team wins. The others must watch the other team win. I think it is more simple because you have to avoid the last three places at the bottom.
“Then you can stay between 10 teams that can play only for this target. And then, I repeat, if you have a good base and in the previous season you played very well, you can count on these players. You have to fight only to avoid this. It is difficult if you have to play to win because only one team wins and the other don’t win.
“Then you [the journalists] are the first to speak about a failed season, if you don’t win the FA Cup, the league, Carabao Cup, it is a failed season and for this reason it is more difficult to play for this target. In my life, my career I fought to avoid the relegation zone. I didn’t start with Juventus, I started with Arezzo, the bottom.
“It is not important [what I think about Chelsea’s season]. We have to finish our season, our job and then there [are people] who has to judge if the season is a failure or not. This is not my job,” Conte concluded.