Antonio Conte says questions over Chelsea's ambition to compete with Manchester City should be directed to the club, not him.
Reigning champions Chelsea are 22 points behind Premier League leaders City ahead of their game at the Etihad on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
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Conte has appeared to publicly criticise Chelsea's transfer policy since their title success in his first campaign in charge, and on Friday warned Manchester City's financial possibilities means they could be even better next season.
The Chelsea head coach has accepted a top-four finish is now the primary objective, but directed reporters elsewhere when quizzed on whether that will remain the top target in future years.
"I don't know," said Conte. "This is not a question for me, about the ambition.
"The club has to show the ambition, not the coach. The coach has to work every day very hard but the club has to show the ambition."
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"Now he recovered from his injury, he will come with us for Man City, I haven’t decided if he’ll be on the bench or in the stand for another week," said Conte.
Manchester City followed up their Carabao Cup final victory over Arsenal with a second 3-0 victory over the Gunners inside a week on Thursday, and Conte believes Pep Guardiola's side seem "unstoppable".
But asked whether he is concerned by the increasing dominance of City, Conte said: "No, because every club has to understand which is the target of the club.
"We must have great admiration for this team, because they are having a fantastic path in this season.
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"Sometimes it's very difficult to find a weakness in this team.
"But I think when you work very well and there is a great feeling between the manager and the club - then you can work in the way you want to try and improve the team because also Man City has the possibility to spend a lot of money.
"When you link this situation - a good manager, money to spend on the transfer market, and this ambition - this is the final result."