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Antonio Conte 'proud' his name is sung by Chelsea fans

  • Chelsea were 3-0 victors over Newcastle in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon
  • Antonio Conte's name was sung by fans during the clash at Stamford Bridge
  • His future has been in doubt after disagreements with the board over transfers
  • Following the victory, he said: 'When they chant my name, I'm very proud'
  • Conte praised the support he receives and insisted he is 'committed' to Chelsea

By Matt Mcgeehan, Press Association Sport

Published: 06:04 EST, 29 January 2018 | Updated: 06:06 EST, 29 January 2018

Antonio Conte has reflected on the affection he receives from Chelsea supporters, claiming he is 'proud' to hear his name sung at Stamford Bridge.

There was a regular chorus of the Italian's name ringing across Stamford bridge during Sunday's 3-0 FA Cup fourth round win over Newcastle as supporters showed their support for the at-risk Chelsea boss.

The Italian's future as head coach has been subject of speculation for much of this season and he has done little to dampen the rumours of late.

Chelsea supporters echoed Antonio Conte's name across Stamford Bridge on Sunday
Chelsea supporters echoed Antonio Conte's name across Stamford Bridge on Sunday

Chelsea supporters echoed Antonio Conte's name across Stamford Bridge on Sunday

And the 48-year-old former Italy and Juventus boss, who is in only his second season as Blues boss after winning the Premier League in his debut campaign, thanked the crowd for their backing.

'From the first day, my first game against West Ham, I felt this fantastic atmosphere around me,' Conte told Chelsea TV.

'When they chant my name, I'm very proud. They push me to give in every moment 130 per cent for Chelsea. My commitment will be always totally for this club.'

Supporters showed their support for the at-risk boss during Chelsea's 3-0 win over Newcastle
Supporters showed their support for the at-risk boss during Chelsea's 3-0 win over Newcastle

Supporters showed their support for the at-risk boss during Chelsea's 3-0 win over Newcastle

Marcos Alonso's free kick confirmed Chelsea's place in Monday's FA Cup fifth-round draw
Marcos Alonso's free kick confirmed Chelsea's place in Monday's FA Cup fifth-round draw

Marcos Alonso's free kick confirmed Chelsea's place in Monday's FA Cup fifth-round draw

Alonso was called upon by his manager due to a lack of left-sided players available
Alonso was called upon by his manager due to a lack of left-sided players available

Alonso was called upon by his manager due to a lack of left-sided players available

Conte is rumoured to be at odds with the Chelsea hierarchy over transfers, but the Blues boss was happy to do as instructed by fielding two 17-year-olds against Newcastle.

Ethan Ampadu is becoming something of a regular, but Callum Hudson-Odoi made his debut.

'The club asked me to work with the young players, to improve them and also if there is the opportunity, to give them a chance,' Conte added.

'Ampadu is a reality. He's not a young player. I think he's becoming an important player for us, because he can play midfield, as a central defender on the right on the left.

'He's only 17 years old. I think he is fantastic news for the club.'

Conte also handed an opportunity to 17-year-old Welshman Ethan Ampadu 
Conte also handed an opportunity to 17-year-old Welshman Ethan Ampadu 

Conte also handed an opportunity to 17-year-old Welshman Ethan Ampadu 

The Blues boss described the youngster as 'fantastic news' for the Premier League champions
The Blues boss described the youngster as 'fantastic news' for the Premier League champions

The Blues boss described the youngster as 'fantastic news' for the Premier League champions

Another important player is Marcos Alonso. After Kenedy's loan move to Newcastle - a deal which suggests a left-sided player will arrive before Wednesday's closure of the transfer window - Alonso was required to play against the Magpies.

The left wing-back scored a fine free-kick to make it 3-0 after laying on an assist for Michy Batshuayi's first of two goals. 

There is no-one else. I had to play,' Alonso told Chelsea TV. 'Always happy to play, to be involved as much as I can.'

Spaniard Alonso now has seven goals this season, with Conte instructing him to get into the box, so long as he also defends.

Alonso added: 'The gaffer always wants bodies in the box. If I can get there and then get back to defend, I try to be in a position to score.'

Conte insisted he is totally committed to Chelsea, despite uncertainty surrounding his future
Conte insisted he is totally committed to Chelsea, despite uncertainty surrounding his future

Conte insisted he is totally committed to Chelsea, despite uncertainty surrounding his future

Conte revealed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois should be available to play Bournemouth on Wednesday, following the ankle knock which has seen him miss the last three games.

Playmaker Willian (hamstring) and striker Alvaro Morata (back) are not likely to be in contention, while Cesc Fabregas was an unused substitute against Newcastle following a recent injury.

And while Newcastle will be disappointed by the weekend's defeat, Rafael Benitez can now focus their attention on Premier League survival after exiting the FA Cup.

The Magpies play Burnley on Wednesday, seeking to climb a congested lower half of the table, with Benitez insisting the importance of Premier League survival.  

'To stay in the Premier League is massive for the club. The next 14 games will be so important,' he told NUFC TV. 'Every game for us now is an opportunity to get three points.'

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