Antonio Conte says too much is being made of Chelsea’s recent slump in form given the Blues are still fighting on three fronts with three months of the season remaining.
Back-to-back heavy defeats in the Premier League against Bournemouth and Watford have left the defending champions in a battle to secure a top-four place.
They were also beaten in the EFL Cup semi-final by Arsenal, but are still in the FA Cup and return to Champions League action against Barcelona later this month.
Much has been made of their form after three defeats in four matches, with some questioning whether Conte will remain at Stamford Bridge, but the Italian says the club’s plight has been blown out of all proportion.
“I’m very happy with the commitment of my players, and the behaviour of my players. The players show me every day they want to overcome this situation,” he said.
“This situation, I repeat, we are talking about a team that is fourth in the league, that is preparing to face the game against Barcelona.
“We are in the FA Cup competition, and we reached the semi-finals in the [EFL] Cup.
“I think we understand that, when you lose two games in a row, the situation is not simple. But, maybe, we are increasing the difficulty [ahead] of this team because it seems that we are fighting for the relegation zone.
“We are keeping our expectations. I don’t think that anyone trusted us to win the title this season. If I remember back, there were two teams fighting for the title, both from Manchester.
“Also last season. We started behind [them]. For this reason, there are too many speculations around this club, around me, around this team.
“I think that, maybe, you have to find a bit more balance. I understand that we have to live with this pressure, and it’s okay for me. It’s okay for me and my players.”