Antonio Conte confirmed he was visited by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last Sunday, but described the meeting as “normal”.
Reports in the media have continually suggested that all is not well between Conte and Chelsea’s hierarchy, particularly over the club’s transfer policy.
The relationship between Abramovich and Conte is said to be at an all-time low, with suggestions the Italian may be removed from his post.
A 3-0 defeat at Roma in the Champions League in midweek has only exacerbated rumours of a rift, but Conte insists there was nothing untoward about Abramovich’s trip to Cobham.
“Yeah, Mr Abramovich was in Cobham on Sunday after the Bournemouth game to watch training, to speak, but this is normal,” he told a media briefing ahead of Sunday’s Premier League contest against title rivals Manchester United.
“Honestly, we spoke about the Bournemouth game [last weekend], then the first game with Roma. We spoke about this.”
Conte repeats that the second half v Roma was bad in many aspects but that is the past and it is important now to prepare well for Sunday.
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Conte stated after the Rome horror show that Chelsea lacked “hunger”, but the former Juventus boss says such an occurrence can happen during the course of a season.
“Honestly, I think that the second half against Roma was bad in many different aspects. But I think sometimes this can happen,” he added.
“The most important thing is you don’t see this type of situation again. We played a really good first half and we were 2-0 down but, honestly, I was more worried after the first half at Stamford Bridge when we were winning 2-1 but didn’t have the control of the game.
“Instead, after the first half, I was more confident in our second half. But, instead, the second half was very negative. But now it’s the past.
“Now it’s important to prepare very well this game against Manchester United and try to do our best on Sunday.”
He added: “For sure, I’m happy. I’m happy to work with my players. Because, I repeat, the commitment is always good.
“This season we are struggling. We are struggling a lot because we are facing a lot of important problems. And to solve these problems is not simple.
“But I think, in this moment, you can see if you are winners or losers. You understand? This is very important, this moment.
“When the period is positive, it’s very simple for everyone to play well, to have great confidence. In this moment, when you’re struggling, it’s important to show our character, to be strong, to face the problems in the right way.
“But I’m used, in my life, to doing this. I struggled a lot in my life, as a player and then as a coach also. My history, my story, tells you this.”
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