Antonio Conte says he has had a "fantastic" season at Chelsea, dismissing suggestions of a drop in mentality from the Premier League champions.
Manchester City's runaway campaign has left the rest of England's elite in their wake, including the Blues, who are 19 points behind the leaders and look certain to surrender their title.
Of the previous six managers to win the league, only Manuel Pellegrini has stayed in the job throughout the following campaign, the Chilean lasting two years at City before he was replaced by Pep Guardiola.
Conte has a contract at Stamford Bridge until the end of next season but has been regularly linked with a departure when 2017-18 concludes – reports he has routinely batted away.
Chelsea have only won one of their last four games to fall further away from City, with Tottenham snapping at their heels in fifth place, but Conte says his players have not lost focus.
"We missed only one game mentality-wise, against Watford [a 4-1 defeat]," Conte said. "From the start of the season, in every game, our mentality was top.
"There is always great commitment and great behaviour. But I've said this many times. I'm very happy to be the coach of these players. I'm very pleased, 100 per cent, to work with these players.
"A winning mentality is about the way you prepare the game, your commitment during training sessions, always at 100 per cent and to have good behaviour with your coach, team-mates, fans, the opponents... this is a winning mentality."
Asked to sum up the campaign, he said: "I think my season, that is the club who judges the season. Not personally.
"When I put 200 per cent into this club every day in Cobham, personally it's always a fantastic season for me. The others have to judge my season, and the season of my players."
Chelsea were unfortunate not to come away with victory from Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Barcelona, Lionel Messi cancelling out Willian's opener.
With visits to Manchester United and City their next two assignments, Conte hopes to get on a winning roll ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou.
"I think that we have just started to play massive games, with Barcelona, now United and City," he said.
"We have just started to play these massive games. For sure, my hope is to have all my players available. When you have to play these massive games, you must hope to have all players available. Otherwise, we are in trouble."
|Plzen boss Vrba slams late mistakes|
|I almost scored as many as Messi - Tagliafico the unlikely hero for Ajax|
|Ronaldo deserves Ballon d´Or not Modric, says Casemiro|
|United fan Rafael - I´ve never lost at City|
|Davis explains abrupt mid-game NFL retirement: ´Football is not for me´|
|Lopes pays tribute to under-fire Lyon coach Genesio|
|Toulon´s Bastareaud handed five-week ban|
|Steelers WR Brown disciplined for missing meeting|
|Arteta refuses to make excuses for Manchester City´s Lyon loss|
|Allegri calls for VAR after Ronaldo´s contentious red card|
|Championship Review: Boro go second, Birmingham still winless|
|Lopetegui: Mariano took his chance|
|Juventus proved their quality after Ronaldo red card - Bonucci|
|Pogba ´class´ impresses Mourinho|
|Man City not Champions League favourites, insists Bernardo Silva|
|Isco calls for Modric to win Ballon d´Or after Champions League win|
|Wawrinka into last eight in St Petersburg|
|Goal hero Pogba is one of the best in the world - Shaw|
|Sane SOS can´t salvage sorry City display|
|Hoffenheim will learn lessons from Shakhtar draw, insists Nagelsmann|
|Valencia 0 Juventus 2: Pjanic hits the spot after Ronaldo sees red|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 CSKA Moscow 2: Krmencik heroics undone by late show|
|Benfica 0 Bayern Munich 2: Sanches returns to haunt his former club|
|Young Boys 0 Manchester United 3: Pogba double inspires Red Devils|
|Manchester City 1 Lyon 2: Cornet and Fekir stun Champions League favourites at home|
|Real Madrid 3 Roma 0: Isco stunner sets up winning start for Champions League holders|
|Ronaldo sent off on Champions League debut for Juve and may miss United reunion|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Hoffenheim 2: Maycon denies Nagelsmann´s side|
|Ajax 3 AEK Athens 0: Tagliafico at the double in opening win|
|Dalot makes debut, Martial starts for Manchester United|
|India avenge ICC Champions Trophy loss with big win over Pakistan|
|Ronaldo makes Champions League debut for Juve|
|Lopetegui picks Navas over Courtois for Champions League clash with Roma|
|Willian very happy under Sarri after Conte row|
|Sarri deals blow to Chelsea kids´ Europa League hopes|
|Mendy out for Manchester City as Aguero makes bench|
|Cech accepts performances key to securing Arsenal stay|
|Monchi rules out Spain return amid Barcelona rumours|
|Durham skittled for 61 and 66 on the same day|
|Kane isn´t a machine – Lamela defends misfiring Spurs star|
|Hazard left out of Chelsea squad for PAOK trip|
|Tiger feels close to ending drought after achieving Tour Championship goal|
|Leno in line for Arsenal chance in Europa League|
|Gazidis leaves Arsenal in good shape, insists Emery|
|Eagles bring back WR Matthews, place Wallace on IR|
|England include Stokes, Hales and uncapped seamer Stone in ODI squad|
|Suwon Bluewings 0 Jeonbuk Motors 3 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Quarter-final comeback ends in spot-kick|
|Australia captain Paine ready to slog it out with Pakistan|
|Nadal pulls out of China Open & Shanghai Masters with knee injury|
|Ostapenko begins Korea Open defence with victory|
|Joshua v Povetkin: How Olympic super heavyweight champions have fared|
|Liverpool ´made a point´ with PSG victory - Gomez|
|Osaka wows Tokyo crowd on WTA return|
|Excited Povetkin arrives in England for Joshua showdown|
|Kovac patience with Sanches set to reap rewards|
|Kovac: Madrid strong without Ronaldo, Messi is the best|
|ATP suspends umpire Lahyani over Kyrgios ´pep talk´ at US Open|
|North and South Korea seek to co-host 2032 Olympics|
|Ampadu signs long-term Chelsea contract|
|Don´t blame Neymar, PSG players all guilty - Thiago Silva|
|Real Madrid seek to plug Ronaldo scoring gap – Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Brewers allow Cardinals to inch closer with loss to Reds|
|Manchester is still red – Depay ahead of Lyon´s clash with City|
|Orioles become first pro team to wear braille jerseys|
|Klopp hails ´brilliant´ Henderson|
|PSG attack lacked aggression, says Tuchel|
|Atletico Tucuman 0 Gremio 2: Libertadores holders draw first blood in QFs|
|Thomas plays down wrist worry|
|Rakitic wants more from Barcelona hat-trick hero Messi|
|My players aren´t s*** – Pochettino defends Spurs squad|