Antonio Conte believes it is too soon for Sir Alex Ferguson or anyone else to write off Chelsea’s Premier League title chances.
Chelsea beat Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United 4-0 last Sunday, but former United boss Ferguson suggested the 2014-15 champions were not one of five teams in title contention this term.
The Blues have played nine games, which included losses to Arsenal and Liverpool, and Conte believes he needs eight to 10 more games before setting a goal for the end of the season in a competitive top flight.
“It’s very difficult to tell now our target,” the Chelsea head coach said.
“Because it’s early and in these games, we had difficulty against Arsenal and Liverpool.
“For this reason it’s important not to look at the table. It’s important to understand this type of work we’re doing now is good to improve and to become a strong team.
“A bit of time in the future, yes, after I think eight, 10 (more) games, I can tell our target.”
Conte insisted he respects Ferguson’s opinion, but refused to put limitations on what his squad can achieve with hard work.
“I respect a lot what he said, but I know that we are working very well,” the former Juventus and Italy boss added.
“I think now we are now in a good way to improve a lot and to become a team that can stay (in contention) till the end to get something.
“Our ambition must be always to play to win every game. Always. It’s important.
“I try to transfer this to my players in every moment, in every day, every week, in every game.
“We must be ambitious. But to be ambitious you must work a lot.”