Conte: Every game a must-win

English Premier League

The Italian last weekend wrote off the Blues’ hopes of reining in top-flight leaders Manchester City following the west London club’s loss to West Ham, which had left them 14 points off the pace after just 16 matches.

And while Chelsea managed to cut that gap following Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Huddersfield, Conte admits it will still take an astronomical effort to re-open the title race this term.

He said: "It doesn't mean we don't want to try to catch them but we have to hope they have a big, big slip and for us then to win every game in this league. And it is very difficult in this league. You have to put in 120 per cent otherwise you risk dropping points.

"When you tell the truth, this is the truth. We had 14 points less than Manchester City. In 16 games they won 15 and drew one. In 17 games we lost four.

"When you have a competitor like City and every game they are winning, it is very difficult to think you can fight for the title.

"We must be realistic and tell the truth. I prefer to tell the truth than a good lie. I am like this and sometimes I can be too honest but I like to speak very honestly with my players and with our fans also."