Conte aiming to turn Chelsea into a 'blazing inferno'
The new manager recognises the strengths of his Premier League rivals but is confident him and his new squad can surprise many during the season Antonio Conte is aiming to turn his "underrated" Chelsea into a "blazing inferno" as he begins work as the club's new manager. The Italian addressed the media in his first press conference on Thursday having been appointed as Jose Mourinho's permanent successor earlier in the summer. Chelsea finished last season in 10th place, with their worst-ever defence of a Premier League title costing Mourinho his job last November. They will now aim to return to the summit of the table under Conte in a season in which Pep Guardiola also arrives in the English top flight and Mourinho takes charge at Manchester United. "First and foremost, I felt very emotional about coming to Chelsea and it feels incredible," Conte told reporters "I am aware the league will be very competitive and I hope the winners of the Premier League next season deserve it. "I think we're underrated but I hope we can surprise people. I hope there is a small flame flickering that can grow into a blazing inferno." While admitting that the title race will be demanding, Conte set qualifying for the Champions League as a minimum target for his team. "The fans need to find a team ready to fight until the end, and to compete with the other teams," he added. "Then, I know, that there is only one team who wins the title. But we must stay there at the end of the season, to fight for the title and be there for the Champions League.