New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte compared himself to a tailor seeking the best dress as he described the challenge of plotting his side’s bid to regain the Premier League and European spotlight.
Conte was officially unveiled as the club’s manager today and immediately installed the Blues as title contenders, despite finishing an underwhelming 10th last term, while insisting a return to the Champions League is essential.
The 46-year-old mentioned the word fight on numerous occasions and depicted himself as a worker, urging the Chelsea players to follow his lead in order to stoke the fires of revival.
“When I was in Italy I liked to say that the manager is like a tailor that must build the best dress for the team,” said former Italy boss Conte, who preferred to employ a back three during his successful stint in charge of Juventus.
“In two days [at the club] I have seen the players with the right attitude and great will to fight for this shirt, to fight to go back very soon to compete for the title.
“We must fight for the title and be there for the Champions League. Chelsea belongs in the Champions League.
“We might be underrated but I hope we can surprise people and this can motivate us further. I hope there is a small flame flickering which can eventually grow into a blazing inferno.”
Conte declined to follow in the footsteps of Jose Mourinho who declared himself the Special One upon his appointment at Chelsea in 2004, although he was bullish in suggesting he exudes a winning mindset.
“Ultimately there are certain managers who are winners and there is a winning mentality that certain coaches have,” added Conte. “I do believe there are winners in football and not everyone has that in them.”
Conte also confirmed that John Terry will remain as club captain after the veteran centre-half signed a new one-year contract in May, having initially appeared to be heading for the Stamford Bridge exit.