Antonio Conte 'to remain Chelsea manager after Watford defeat'

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Wilkins added that 23-year-old Bakayoko, a £40million signing from Monaco, in particular, is not ready for the Premier League and says many of Chelsea's downfalls this season have been down to poor recruitment.

Publicly at least, Conte is putting a fearless face on the situation, refusing to confirm media reports he has been at odds with director Marina Granovskaia, one of owner Roman Abramovich's most trusted employees, following November's surprise departure of transfer chief Michael Emenalo.

Chelsea have put a plan in place if Antonio Conte is to get the sack in the near future.

Chelsea players wear a dejected look after conceding a goal against Watford during their EPL match on Monday.

Some might argue that point is already here, as they now reside in the fourth and final Champions League slot, and they're just one point clear of fifth place Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho has been dismissed twice by the club, despite winning three league titles. I can be the Chelsea coach or not, what is the problem? said Conte. I work every day and I give 120 percent, okay? Otherwise, the club can take a different decision.

The final two mistakes made by Conte relates to his brother, Daniele, and training.

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"I specifically joined Chelsea so I wouldn't have to play any football", Olivier Giroud explained.

Player recruitment and the autonomy - or otherwise - of the manager have always been core issues and until they are settled it is unlikely Chelsea will ever truly reach the kind of hegemony once enjoyed by United and now threatened by City.

Chelsea face Hull City in the fifth round of the FA Cup and are in the last 16 of the Champions League, where they take on Spanish side Barcelona later this month. He had recruited Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger, but the losses of John Terry, Nemanja Matic and eventually Diego Costa (who he drove out of the squad) weren't enough.

Conte and several of his players have admitted in recent weeks that they are struggling to cope with the demands of a gruelling and, at times, unfavourable schedule that required Chelsea to play nine games in December and nine more in January.

Gracia will have been delighted with such a dominant performance in his first game, and he will have been particularly impressed with compatriot Deulofeu, who starred for Watford.

'That means you don't have a basis, a great foundation.

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