Antonio Conte believes Chelsea are proving their doubters wrong and must continue to do so by sustaining their challenge at the top of the Premier League.
Conte’s Chelsea have won seven successive Premier League games, scoring 19 times and conceding once, to top the table entering this weekend’s fixtures, where they travel to Manchester City.
Chelsea last season finished a lowly 10th in defence of the title they won a year before, but Conte has quickly rejuvenated the Blues as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor.
Defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal in September have been followed by wins over Hull, champions Leicester, Mourinho’s Manchester United, Southampton, Everton, Middlesbrough and Tottenham. Pep Guardiola’s City are the biggest challenge yet.
“I remember in my first press conference that not many people trusted in Chelsea, in our work,” Conte said.
“I think this must be a great strength for us to continue to work and to change people’s opinions.
“We are working for ourselves, for our club, for our fans, to show that we love this shirt, we love this club.
“It’s normal if you are a great team like Chelsea, and you play or are the manager of this great team, the expectation is always high.
“Sometimes it’s right to be high. Sometimes you have to wait, because you are building something important.
“But now it’s important to continue to work to show that Chelsea can fight for a place in the Champions League, can fight for the title, can fight the best teams in this league.”