ANTONIO CONTE is confident his Chelsea side will keep their cool and help write his name into Premier League history.
The leaders face Middlesbrough tomorrow and a win would bring the title to within touching distance.
If the long-time pace-setters can get the job done over the next three weeks, Conte would become the fourth Italian to conquer English football after Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini and Claudio Ranieri.
He said: “I will be proud if I become another Italian to win the title. I honestly don’t know why we have done this. Every coach is different to the other.
“For sure, in England, I looked at the past and saw many Italian managers won the title in England. I think it’s great for us, it’s great for our school.
“But it’s not important where you arrive from. In England now there are top managers from different countries and really good English managers.
“When you arrive and you face this league, you must adapt very quickly.
“This league is very difficult. It’s totally different to the Italian or Spanish leagues. It’s very strong. Every single game you must fight a lot.”
But with that competitiveness comes a problem. The Chelsea boss is concerned that England will never be a world force while they play so many games during each domestic campaign.
He said: “A lot of the players here reach the end of the season very tired. We are all exhausted. Every game is very tough, every game you must put all yourself in the game.
“Also for the national team, it’s very difficult to try and do well in the World Cup or the Euros because you arrive at the end of the season and the players are tired.
“I can fully understand why teams are threatening to play weaker teams.
“Every coach and every team must take the best decision for themselves – not for Tottenham, Chelsea or any other club.”
But first, Conte has his sights trained on the prize at the end of the season.
He said: “As for me, first of all, I hope to win the title with the players and the club. This is the most important thing.
“It’s important to reach this target. For myself. For my work. For my family. It’s very important, this. I’m not waiting for a Ferrari.
“Will I get a bonus? I think in every contract of a single player and coach, there is – if you are able to reach a target, there is a bonus, no?
“Sometimes it’s a great bonus.”
And to get that bonus, Conte is ticking off the games until the end of the season one at a time – although his side could have secured the title even before rivals Tottenham play again.
After Middlesbrough tomorrow, the Stamford Bridge side face West Brom on Friday before Spurs’ next game – against Manchester United on May 14.
Conte said: “My expectation for this game is we must play a great game. We have to try to take three points.
“This game is very important. Now with only four games to go, it’s important to win. It won’t be easy.”
“Middlesbrough are struggling to avoid relegation. We must be ready, ready to fight.”