May 14, 2018 / 6:29 AM / 14 days ago

Conte urges lacklustre Chelsea to improve for FA Cup final

(Reuters) - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned his team that they must improve on their toothless display in Sunday’s Premier League defeat by Newcastle United when the London outfit take on Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United vs Chelsea - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - May 13, 2018 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte gestures Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Chelsea, who harboured an outside chance of a top-four spot heading into the final league fixture of the season, were overwhelmed at St James’ Park, falling to a 3-0 defeat by 10th-placed Newcastle.

The loss, coupled with Liverpool’s 4-0 home win over Brighton, ended Chelsea’s hopes of securing Champions League football for next season as Conte’s defending champions finished five points behind the Merseysiders in fifth.

“For the next game, for sure we must change. If we think we can play a game like this in the final of the FA Cup then we don’t have a chance,” Conte told reporters as he looked ahead to Saturday’s Wembley showdown.

“We have six days to change our approach and desire and will to fight... Our fans deserve more than today.”

The Italian, who led Chelsea to the league title in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, said his team’s poor campaign was a “big disappointment”.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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