Antonio Conte makes significant Chelsea request ahead of Watford clash

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Chelsea take on Watford on Monday night hoping to bounce back from midweek disappointment, and Antonio Conte is looking for a little support from the hierarchy.

The Blues suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth on Wednesday night, adding to the growing frustration at Stamford Bridge following their exit in the semi-finals of the League Cup a week earlier.

Coupled with the fact that they’re currently 19 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, it hasn’t quite been the best of seasons for the club, although they are still involved in the FA Cup and Champions League with hopes of silverware this year not entirely dashed.

Nevertheless, having won the league title in his first campaign in England coupled with the progress that Chelsea were seemingly making, things have taken a turn for Conte this season.

Amid growing pressure and ongoing criticism, the Italian tactician has asked for some support from the hierarchy in publicly backing him and easing that pressure.

“I must be honest, there were these type of rumours and speculation [that he might be sacked] even after the first game of the season when we lost against Burnley,” Conte said, as quoted by The Guardian. “Maybe I’d like the club to prepare a statement for me, no? To say they trust me in my work and my job.”

Whether he gets that from owner Roman Abramovich or another figure remains to be seen, but a win at Vicarage Road would undoubtedly do a great deal on its own in giving everyone at the club a lift and silencing those rumours, at least temporarily.

It seems harsh that Conte is coming under so much scrutiny given what he achieved only last year, but expectations are high at Stamford Bridge and ultimately Chelsea have been falling short this season.

Time will tell if he manages to survive beyond this summer, but clearly Conte would like a bit more backing from the powers that be to at least make him feel as though he’s in a secure position while trying to mastermind better results for the Blues.

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