(Reuters) - Chelsea coach Antonio Conte is disappointed by how his team’s season has played out and criticised the “stupid way” in which they had dropped points after dominating games.
Conte’s side are fifth in the Premier League ahead of Wednesday’s home game against Huddersfield Town, and although they face Manchester United in the FA Cup final on May 19, they need other results to go their way to finish in the top four.
“For sure there is a bit of disappointment,” Conte told a news conference on Tuesday.
“I think this season we dropped many points in a stupid way – especially in games where we dominated and created many chances but we were not able to score more goals.”
Chelsea could end the league season level on points with Liverpool, who are third and have played a game more, but have a significantly poorer goal difference than the Merseyside club.
Failing to beat Huddersfield or Newcastle United on Sunday would almost certainly end Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League football next season, but the silver lining for Conte is that Liverpool have gone off the boil recently.
Two draws and a defeat in three league games has opened the door for last season’s champions to dream of a top-four finish, but keeping up the pressure on the teams above them is vital if that dream is to be realised.
“The only way to put on a bit of pressure is (to win),” Conte said. “We are doing our job in the best way to put a bit of pressure on to Liverpool and Tottenham.
“But the situation is not in our hands – Liverpool can beat Brighton to reach a place the Champions League, the same for Tottenham who have two games at home.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond