Belfast Telegraph

Mourinho is jealous of Chelsea's position, claims Conte

By Matt McGeehan

Antonio Conte reckons Chelsea are attracting criticism from the likes of former boss Jose Mourinho because of jealousy at their 13-game winning run and position at the top of the Premier League.

Manchester United boss Mourinho said Chelsea and Tottenham had festive fixture "privilege" due to the London derby taking place tonight.

It ensured the record-chasing Blues, seeking a 14th successive win at White Hart Lane, had an additional day between games than United and the schedule also irked Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

"I can reply that I didn't do the fixtures," said Conte, who became Mourinho's permanent successor last summer.

"I think that now they are angry for our position not for the fixtures. It's normal. This also happens in Italy. I repeat it's always because you stay up (at the top)."

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has said everyone wants his side to win tonight to end Chelsea's victory run and Conte understands that.

"Every team wants to stop our run, not only Tottenham," Conte said. "Don't worry about this, about the other teams, about the fans. Not one person wants to kill the championship."

Conte's Blues matched Arsenal's single-season top-flight record of 13 consecutive victories with last Saturday's defeat of Stoke.

And victory at White Hart Lane would draw Chelsea level with the Gunners' record mark of 14 straight wins, which ended in August 2002.

"We must be proud about this because it's a great achievement, 13 wins in a row - above all now in this league, with these players and these coaches," Conte added.

"We took 39 points. For the other situation (the record), it's not important for us.

"(But) If you see the table, you can see that we have only five points more than second place, from Liverpool."

United are sixth, 10 points behind Chelsea, but nine clear of seventh-placed Everton after six successive wins.

Conte's winning desire is such that it was suggested to have contributed to the naming of his nine-year-old daughter. The literal English translation of Vittoria is 'Victory'.

"It's an important name, above all in England," Conte added.

"My wife is Elisabetta, so I have two Queens - Elizabeth and Victoria -in my house. Very English because I knew one day I would arrive here to work in England."

It was suggested ending Chelsea's run would exact a measure of revenge for Spurs after the Blues ended their Premier League title hopes last term, handing Leicester the trophy.

Conte said: "You don't win and you don't lose a championship in one game."

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