Chelsea deserve to be fifth after loss to Tottenham - Antonio Conte

LONDON -- Antonio Conte admitted that Chelsea deserve their position in the Premier League table after Tottenham's first victory at Stamford Bridge for 28 years left the Blues with a mountain to climb to finish in the top four.

Dele Alli netted twice in the second half after Christian Eriksen's long-range strike cancelled out Alvaro Morata's opener as Tottenham ended a winless run of 30 matches in all competitions at Stamford Bridge and stretched the gap to their bitter rivals to eight points with seven games remaining.

After the match, Conte deflected a barrage of questions about his future but reiterated that he feels he is getting the most out of his players.

"I think that the performance was good, especially in the first half," he said. "I think we played good football, scored only one goal but deserved to finish the first half 2-0 or 3-0 [up]. Instead, we conceded a goal in the last minute of the first half, and that created a bit of problems in our mind.

"We lost a bit our confidence. But, despite this, in the second half, we started the game very well. Then we conceded a goal that you can avoid. It was a free ball and I think we made a mistake.

"Also the third goal, you have to kick the ball into the stand, not concede. But the season is going in this way. Now we have to try and do our best until the end."

Asked if he fears being sacked, Conte replied: "I'm not worried. Honestly. I think that I'm giving -- the players are giving -- everything this season. We are working very hard to try to have a good season, but I think that, in the end, we are deserving this season. It means that our value is this.

"We are working very well, very hard, and the commitment of the players is top. Despite this, you stay in this position. We must be a bit worried about this."

Europa League football beckons for Chelsea now that they trail fourth-placed Tottenham by eight points and third-placed Liverpool by 10.

"I don't know," Conte said when asked if all hope of a top-four finish is gone.

"On the one hand, we must be realistic and understand the teams that stay ahead of us are going very fast, at great speed. We had a great chance to close the gap with Tottenham and we lost this chance.

"On the other hand, we have to know that, until the end, we have to try and do our best. To try in these seven games to do everything and try to take a place in the Champions League. But it won't be easy. We know this."

Earlier in the day, Conte said he is praying for Ray Wilkins and his family.

Former Blues captain Wilkins, 61, remains critically ill in St George's Hospital in Tooting, south-west London, following a cardiac arrest.

"I'd like to start by saying we are very close to Ray and his family,'' Conte said in a tweet from Chelsea's account, published before Sunday's Premier League defeat to Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

"Ray is a legend in the history of this club and for sure our prayers are with them.''

A spokesman for St George's Hospital told Press Association Sport on Sunday evening that Wilkins' condition had not changed.

Wilkins' wife Jackie was quoted in the Daily Mirror on Saturday saying he had fallen after suffering a cardiac arrest and had been put in an induced coma in intensive care.

A tweet from the official account of St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust just before midnight on Saturday read: "We can confirm that Ray Wilkins is currently being treated at St George's Hospital, and his condition is critical.

"His family have asked for privacy at this time, and we are tweeting this update with their agreement.''