Antonio Conte has acknowledged that Chelsea’s fortunes appear to be on the turn after a weekend in which his side moved two points away from a place in the Premier League’s top four.
After Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by West Brom on Saturday, Olivier Giroud’s first-half goal earned Chelsea a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to put the Blues two points behind Mauricio Pochettino’s fourth-place men with two games remaining.
Liverpool are three clear of Conte’s side in third, but both Spurs and Chelsea have a game in hand.
The west London club have won their last four league matches and face relegation-threatened Huddersfield Town and mid-table Newcastle United in their final fixtures.
“One month ago, it was impossible to imagine we’d arrive at the end to fight for a place in the Champions League,” Conte told reporters. “Now there is hope.
“We are getting three points in every game. Our opponents are dropping points, but our future is not in our hands. We have to try to get three points to put pressure on the teams ahead of us.
“We must be pleased with our will to fight and desire, and our will to keep the hope alive to take a place in the Champions League.”
Alvaro Morata did not feature against Liverpool after picking up an injury in training, but Conte said he expects the Spanish striker to feature against Huddersfield on Wednesday.
“It is not serious,” said Conte. “In my mind there is the intention to have him for Huddersfield. I hope to have him.”