Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has contended that managing his side is a more difficult task than being at the helm of fellow Premier League side Burnley, ahead the Blues' trip to Turf Moor on Thursday evening.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, via the Guardian, the Blues boss contended that the relatively smaller Premier League teams had a less pressurised time in the competition,
He said: "If you start the season fighting to avoid the relegation zone it is more simple – also if you have a small budget, because you can count on the team that in the past qualified to play again in the league.
"It is more difficult when you have to prepare in the transfer market to win something, because only one team wins. You have to avoid the last three places at the bottom, and then you can stay between 10 teams that play only for this target. You have to fight only to avoid this."
"It is difficult if you have to play to win because only one team wins and if the other doesn’t win you are the first to speak about a failed season. If you don’t win the FA Cup, the league, the Carabao Cup, it’s a failure season and for this reason it’s more difficult to play for this target.”
Burnley and Chelsea have certainly had contrasting seasons so far - with the Clarets soaring to a comfortable seventh in the table, while the Blues - the reigning champions - look likely to miss out on a qualification spot for next season's Champions League competition after suffering a post-title winning collapse.
Conte's future with the Blues remains unclear, as the former-Juventus manager has become increasingly frustrated with life at Stamford Bridge this season.
Chelsea could well bite the bullet and sack the 48-year-old at the end of the season, paying the necessary compensation in order to start afresh with a new, perhaps more compliant managerial choice.
Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri is currently the odds on favourite to replace Conte at Stamford Bridge, after impressing with the tenacious style of football being showcased by his side in Serie A.
Chelsea would need to pay around £9m to oust Conte from his position, and a further £7m to land Sarri - an eventuality which could well occur, given the club's formidable riches.