Antonio Conte reveals: Abramovich demanded this at the start of the season

ANTONIO CONTE has revealed that Roman Abramovich made finishing in the top four the top priority for this season.

Chelsea had a dismal season under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink last campaign with the Blues finishing in 10th place.

But things are completely different under Conte this year.

The Italian has guided Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table, with the Blues boasting a seven point lead with a game in hand.

And Conte has opened up on his pre-season talk with owner Abramovich, claiming a top-four finish was the priority – with a title push seen as a bonus.

“We started our season trying to fight until the end to win the title, and to try and fight until the end to be in the right position to go into next season’s Champions League. This was our target. Our target,” said Conte.

“But, for sure, it wasn’t easy to start the season and know that six strong teams fight for the title and the Champions League.

“Don’t forget, in this six teams, two won’t play in the Champions League next season. They have to go into the Europa League, which is a bit different to the Champions League.

“But now this league is very, very difficult. To win the title and also find a place to play the Champions League is not easy.

“But it’s a great competition for every single player, club and manager, and we want to stay there and try to fight to win it.”

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