Antonio Conte hit out at "bull****" negativity surrounding Chelsea's fading Premier League title defence, insisting his side must be realistic when it comes to trying to overhaul runaway leaders Manchester City.
Chelsea accounted for Huddersfield Town 3-1 on Tuesday, though the reigning champions remain 11 points adrift of unbeaten City, who are due to play on Wednesday.
That gap could widen to 14 points following City's trip to Swansea City midweek after just 17 matches of the Premier League season.
Conte conceded that Chelsea's hopes of retaining the title were "impossible" after last week's 1-0 loss at West Ham and the Italian head coach offered no apologies for writing off the club's Premier League challenge.
"I think when you tell the truth, this is the truth," Conte told reporters.
"Now we have 14 points less than Manchester City. They have won 15 games and drew one. Instead in 17 games we lost four games.
"When you have a competitor like Manchester City that every game they are winning it is very difficult to think you can fight for the title. Because, 'you are negative, positive, you think negative', it's bull****, bull****. You must be realistic, we must be realistic. I would rather tell the truth, than a good lie. I am this way. Sometimes I can be too honest, but I like to speak very honest with my players with our fans also.
"It doesn't mean that we don't try to catch them. But we have to hope we have a big, big slip and then for us to win every game in this league. This league is very difficult and every game you have to put 120 per cent of yourself, otherwise you risk to lose or draw and to drop points."
Conte, who saw Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro score on Tuesday, added: "In your league when you have a team that have 16 games and 15 wins and draw one game it is not simple to think in a positive way. In the last nine games we won seven games, drew against Liverpool and lost one game but despite this we are now 11 points and they play tomorrow so the distance might be the same, 14 points.
"They are having a fantastic path but at the same time we must go game by game and get three points for our table, this league is very difficult, there are six teams to fight for the title and the Champions League and the Europa League.
"We have to look at our ourselves and to improve and have this type of game, because I enjoyed to watch my players play this football."
20 de enero 2018
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19 de enero 2018
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