Conte targeting FA Cup and top-four finish

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte will not prioritise either the FA Cup or a top-four finish in the Premier League in the final weeks of the season, saying Chelsea have an obligation to fight for both targets.

Antonio Conte has declined to show Gary Cahill and Álvaro Morata a great deal of sympathy after they were omitted from their respective global squads, with the Chelsea manager making clear the only way for them to prove they deserve to go to the World Cup is by working hard for their club.

"This is a question for the coach of the national teams, not for me", Conte said when asked whether Cahill's and Morata's omissions placed doubt over their involvement in the World Cup in Russian Federation this summer. "We can only look forward and start fighting for fourth spot in the Champions League and to win the FA Cup".

A good omen for Chelsea is that the last time they won the trophy, in 2012, they beat Leicester 5-2 in the quarter-finals, albeit at Stamford Bridge. "But we played strong as a team", Messi said.

But speaking to the London Evening Standard after Chelsea lost the second leg of their last- 16 tie 3-0 in the Camp Nou to go out 4-1 on aggregate, he said: "I don't care what non-Chelsea people say, I know who I should listen to".

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Antonio Conte took the opportunity to compliment a rare talent after Lionel Messi masterminded Barcelona's Champions League defeat of Chelsea. "It was unlucky on our side, but I think mostly it was our individual mistakes that cost us". "For this reason I'll pick the best solution for Sunday's game".

Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, the visitors fell behind after just 128 seconds as Lionel Messi shot through the legs of Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle. "We have to make sure we play in the Champions League next year". The weakest point is between the legs for a goalkeeper.

He said: "We are not playing every three days".

"My only worry is to have the players in the best form for Chelsea, then it's up to the national team coach to make the best decision for their country".

"We're lucky enough to be seeing something that will go down in history".

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