English Premiership

Conte: Chelsea have their hunger back

2017-11-20 14:25
Antonio Conte (Getty Images)

Cape own - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says his team have regained their desire in time for Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Qarabag.

Conte admitted that the Blues were lacking something in their recent 3-0 defeat to Roma, but a subsequent 1-0 win over Manchester United and Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of West Brom is proof that they are back in form.

"These players and this team have always shown great desire, great will to fight in every game," Conte said.

"Against Roma, together we did not show this. Me first. I always put myself before the players, to take responsibility.

"For me, we did not deserve to finish the first half 2-0 down, but the second half was negative because we did not show the desire to change the result, to try to draw, to try to win. But I think in every season there are games [like that].

"We had a lot of problems [at the start of the season] and we are also trying to change something in the tactical aspect, to find different solutions.

"When you concede so many goals it means you have to find a new balance and solidity. I hope to continue to improve."

The Blues face Group C minnows Qarabag on Wednesday, when a win away in Azerbaijan against the team they beat 6-0 at Stamford Bridge will be enough to secure passage to the next round before they wrap up the group stage at home against Atletico Madrid.

The match in Baku could see Conte shuffle his team for a game he will expected to win with ease, meaning that it could see central defender David Luiz return to the team.

The Brazilian defender has been benched since reports of a bust-up with Conte, but the Italian insists that it is purely tactical based on the impressive showing of Danish centre-half Andreas Christensen.

"Every game I have to try to make the best decision for the team, and if I am taking this decision it means Christensen is deserving to play," he said.

"I think Christensen is playing very well but we have to play a lot of games and we have to play every three days. We need all the players and to have different solutions. Last season I did not have this opportunity."

Kick off is at 21:45.

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