London: Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claims jibes about the Premier League leaders from critics including Jose Mourinho are motivated by jealousy.
Manchester United boss Mourinho, who was sacked from his second spell at Chelsea last season, said his old team and Tottenham had been given festive fixture "privilege" when their London derby was scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
It ensured the Blues, seeking a record-setting 14th successive league win, had an additional day between games and the schedule also irked Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
But Conte is adamant Mourinho was motivated only by frustration at Chelsea's strong position in the title race.
"I can reply that I didn't do the fixtures," Conte told reporters on Tuesday.
"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," Conte said.
Conte knows Chelsea will face a fierce challenge from fired-up Tottenham as the Premier League leaders bid to set a new record winning streak on Wednesday.
Conte's side would become the first team to win 14 successive English top-flight games within the same season if they emerge victorious from what will be a red-hot atmosphere at White Hart Lane.
Clashes between these London rivals have always been volatile, but they have become even more explosive of late, with a combination of Chelsea's record chase and Tottenham's revenge mission making the latest instalment not one for the faint-hearted.
Updated Date: Jan 04, 2017 12:58 PM