Antonio Conte says it is time for Tottenham to ditch their underdogs tag and does not feel the result of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final will have a bearing in the Premier League title run-in.
Chelsea's 2-0 loss at Manchester United last weekend left the league leaders just four points clear of second-placed Spurs with six matches remaining.
The London rivals will get a measure of where they stand in Saturday's contest at Wembley, a match in which Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said his team will be considered underdogs.
But Conte dismissed that notion, pointing to the fact that for the second year running Spurs are in the running for title glory.
"I think Tottenham must finish [talking about being the] underdog. Tottenham are a really great power in English football, [and have been] working for three years," he told a pre-match news conference.
"It's the right moment to finish talk of them being underdogs and [using] this excuse. Tottenham is a fantastic team, this year [they are] trying again [for the title].
"I think in the future Tottenham will stay to fight every game for the title, they are full of great players, strong players.
"They are doing something important, this is their third year. There is a moment you have to finish considering yourself an underdog."
On what impact the result may have on the title, Conte added: "I don't know, these are two different competitions.
"The FA Cup is a great tradition, the oldest one in the world. Then there is the league, they are two different competitions, so I don't think one team winning or losing can affect other competitions."
22. November 2017
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