Antonio Conte admits Chelsea’s aim for the remainder of the season must be to scrap with their rivals competing in Manchester City’s wake.
City’s lead at the Premier League summit could increase to 15 points by Wednesday night and Conte knows that only an extraordinary collapse in form will prevent them from romping to the title.
Chelsea are in third place after a 2-0 victory over Brighton at Stamford Bridge and their manager’s ambition now is to produce a strong second half to the season.
“There is great motivation to fight until the end. I don’t know if we can do this for the title because it depends on Manchester City, who are having a fantastic run,” Conte said.
“With the other top teams, we stay there to fight. There is great motivation for us and other teams to get a place in the Champions League next season.
“We want to improve. Our start this season wasn’t great for many reasons, but we want to improve and be proud to play every game.
“We wanted to win this game because it was very important to start the second part of the season with a win. We are doing a good job but we have to continue in this way.”