Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte did not want to talk about what he insists are false reports of his impending departure from Stamford Bridge.
The Italian has already given up hopes of catching runaway league leaders Manchester City, but claims that he’s in London for the long haul despite reportedly wanting to return to Italy.
"Every day there is speculation about my future," Conte told reporters. "It's not right because I think I deserve a bit of respect for what I did last season, for what I am doing this season.
"To read every week: 'Next season the club contacts this coach or this coach' - for me this is not a problem, but it can create problems with the players because the players believe we could [drift] apart.
"I have another year on my contract, so in this moment my focus is total, to improve my players, to try to improve the team, to try to improve the club.
"If you understand football, there is a moment you must have great patience, to know that someone is working very well.
"I think last season we did a fantastic job but this job is continuing this season. We are trying to change the average age of our team.
"I think for a club like Chelsea it is very important to start to do this, if you want to create a new base and face the future with confidence."
The Blues have a midweek fixture coming up on Wednesday when they will host Bournemouth in the League Cup.