Antonio Conte has insisted Chelsea's 2017/18 campaign is incomparable to the 'Mourinho season' of two years earlier, despite the likely failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Chelsea are fifth ahead of tomorrow's final game of the Premier League season at Newcastle and in the FA Cup final with Manchester United on May 19.
There has been constant speculation over Conte's future as boss, with many expecting the Italian to depart this summer.
Defending his record, Conte referenced the season prior to his appointment, 2015/16, which he last summer termed a 'Mourinho season'.
That referred to Chelsea's implosion as defending champions under Jose Mourinho, now the United boss, before the Blues recovered slightly to finish 10th under interim boss Guus Hiddink.
Conte said: "We're struggling for the Champions League. It can happen. Two years ago Chelsea finished 10th and not in the final of the FA Cup or semi-final of Carabao Cup. They were eliminated in the last 16 (of the Champions League) against PSG."