“Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been lucky, he should thank Jose Mourinho” – pundit

NIALL QUINN has backed Antonio Conte to be named manager of the year but believes he has been lucky in his first season at Chelsea.

The Blues have stayed injury free and haven’t had to prepare for European games after their disastrous campaign last time out under Jose Mourinho.

Quinn feels Conte overcame his difficult start in superb fashion though and that Chelsea deserve to win the Premier League.

He told Sky Sports: “Conte has been pretty extraordinary. It wasn’t so simple at the start.

“I thought this man was fired up and it wasn’t really going well.

“You saw this battle-weary and battle-hardened man jumping up and down on the touchline and you were wondering if he could pull it together as they struggled for the first few weeks.

“It’s more than just changing it to three at the back. There’s more to it than that.

“There was a message to the players that we have to do better. It’s been like a well-oiled machine since then.

“He’s also been really lucky with injuries and he’s benefitted from Jose Mourinho’s parting gift to Chelsea of not qualifying for Europe.

“That’s been an important part of Chelsea’s ability to name a consistent XI each week and keep a consistent flow going.”

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