Antonio Conte labels Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho 'jealous' after Chelsea fixture jibe
Antonio Conte reckons Chelsea are attracting criticism from the likes of former boss Jose Mourinho because of jealousy at their 13-game winning run and position at the top of the Premier League.
Manchester United boss Mourinho said Chelsea and Tottenham had festive fixture "privilege" due to the London derby taking place at 8pm tonight.
It ensured the record-chasing Blues, seeking a 14th successive win at White Hart Lane, had two days more than United between the last round of games and the schedule also irked Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
"I can reply that I didn't do the fixtures," said Conte, who became Mourinho's permanent successor last summer.
"I think that now they are angry for our position not for the fixtures.
"It's normal. This also happens in Italy. I repeat it's always because you stay up (at the top)."
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has said everyone wants his side to win Wednesday's derby to end Chelsea's victory run and Conte understands if that is the case.
"Every team wants to stop our run, not only Tottenham," Conte said.
"Don't worry about this, about the other teams, about the fans. Not one person wants to kill the championship."
Conte's Blues matched Arsenal's single-season top-flight record of 13 consecutive victories with last Saturday's defeat of Stoke.
And defeat of Spurs would draw Chelsea level with the Gunners' record mark of 14 straight wins, which ended in August 2002.
"We must be proud about this because it's a great achievement, 13 wins in a row - above all now in this league, with these players and these coaches," Conte added.
"We took 39 points. For the other situation (the record), it's not important for us.
"(But) If you see the table, you can see that we have only five points more than second place, from Liverpool."
United are sixth, 10 points behind Chelsea, but nine clear of seventh-placed Everton after six successive wins.
Conte's winning desire is such that it was suggested to have contributed to the naming of his nine-year-old daughter. The literal English translation of Vittoria is 'Victory'.
"It's an important name, above all in England," Conte added.
"My wife is Elisabetta, so I have two Queens - Elizabeth and Victoria - in my house. Very English because I knew one day I would arrive here to work in England."
It was suggested ending Chelsea's run would exact a measure of revenge for Spurs after the Blues ended their Premier League title hopes last term, handing Leicester the trophy.
Conte said: "You don't win and you don't lose a championship in one game."
Conte believes Spurs are stronger than last season, mainly due to the addition of midfielder Victor Wanyama and having more time to gel under Pochettino, who "is showing he can be one of the best coaches in the world".
He added: "There is this difference in the table only because we did an incredible run. I consider Tottenham to be a great team, very strong."
Diego Costa scored his 14th of the season in last Saturday's 4-2 win over Stoke and afterwards spoke of his desire last summer to leave Stamford Bridge. He says he is now happy at Chelsea.
Conte has no doubts that the striker, often maligned for his temperament, is now fully committed to the cause, channelling his energy in the right way on the pitch.
"When Diego decided to stay and he told me 'I stay, I stay, I want to fight for this club, for my team-mates, for this shirt'," added Conte, who has Pedro back from suspension.
"I'm not concerned. I wasn't concerned. I think he's showing great passion in the right way, in every moment of the game.
"We're happy for this. Me, the club, his team-mates, because he's completely focused on the game. It's very important this."