English Premiership

Chelsea's title pedigree key for Conte

2017-02-26 21:03
Antonio Conte (Getty Images)

London - Antonio Conte believes Chelsea's experience of winning the Premier League two years ago will prove decisive as they attempt to maintain their stranglehold on the title race.

A 3-1 victory over Swansea on Saturday gave Conte's side an 11-point lead as they head into the final third of the season, with the pressure resting firmly on the chasing pack.

The Premier League trophy will be heading back to Stamford Bridge if the Blues avoid any major slips during the final weeks and the Chelsea boss is convinced his players have shown they can hold their nerve after lifting the trophy during Jose Mourinho's reign.

"It's not easy to keep the concentration for the whole championship. But I have a lot of players who played and won in the past," Conte said.

"They know very well the way that we must continue to try to keep at the top of the table, to try and win the title.

"For this reason, I'm lucky. I'm lucky to have a lot of players who, in the past, won a lot.

"If, sometimes, I can see some of them relaxing, it's right for me to try and help them be focused for every moment.

"But honestly, it wasn't necessary for me to keep the concentration and focus of the players."

Chelsea appeared in danger of dropping points when Fernando Llorente cancelled out Cesc Fabregas's 19th minute opening goal, but Pedro and Diego Costa scored in the final 18 minutes to secure the win.

Conte was pleased with the way his side stuck to their task and added: "I have a team that until now has deserved to stay at the top of the table. This is right to say now.

"We are playing good football, with good intensity, scoring a lot of goals.

"Trust me, I'm very happy above all for my players. They are deserving of this. Every day I see them during the training sessions, the commitment and behaviour."

SOLUTIONS

Fabregas was recalled to the line-up in place of Nemanja Matic and marked his 300th Premier League appearance with a well-taken strike before hitting the woodwork after the break.

And in Conte's eyes, the Spaniard's contribution confirmed the options he has available in central midfield.

"Cesc played a really good game, but it's important for me to have these solutions and also to analyse the games, to understand when we need to have a player with more quality on the ball, and to lose something in height," he said.

"For me I consider Nemanja a top player, and also (N'Golo) Kante, but also Fabregas. He's a really good player.

"I'm really pleased to see him in this form despite not starting the last game in the league. This is the right way to continue."

Swansea manager Paul Clement was convinced his side should have had a second-half penalty when Cesar Azpilicueta handled the ball, but he insisted the defeat will not affect his side's prospects of staying up.

"You never want to lose a game, but the performance doesn't damage our confidence. We've had some really difficult away games and picked up some good home results," he said.

"The month of March is vital: Burnley, Hull, Bournemouth and Middlesbrough, all teams around us. Damage limitation today in terms of the results around us, but we focus on our next game against Burnley."

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Wednesday, 29 January 2020
West Ham United v Liverpool, London Stadium 21:45
Saturday, 01 February 2020
Leicester City v Chelsea, King Power Stadium 14:30
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 17:00
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion, London Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Sheffield United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Newcastle United v Norwich City, St. James' Park 17:00
Watford v Everton, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Aston Villa, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Trafford 19:30
Sunday, 02 February 2020
Burnley v Arsenal, Turf Moor 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.