Cape Town - Chelsea
manager Antonio Conte liked what he saw from Olivier Giroud as the
French striker made his debut in Monday’s 3-0 win over West Brom.
The former Arsenal forward helped Eden Hazard to open the scoring at
Stamford Bridge before Victor Moses and a second strike from Hazard
secured a much-needed win for the Blues after back-to-back defeats to
Bournemouth and Watford.
"To have two strikers in contention for us is very important," said
Conte. "Giroud could become an important player and at the same time I
had a good answer from Alvaro [Morata] and we must be happy.
"We forced Giroud to play because we had Morata injured, and it was
important to have a point of reference like him on the pitch."
The win puts Chelsea fourth in the Premier League standings, one
point behind Liverpool and three adrift of second-placed Manchester
United, while also easing the pressure on Conte, who is reportedly on
thin ice with the club.
"We have to try to fight against the speculation," the Italian added.
"The only way is to try to win, play good football and I think until
the end we will continue to live with it. It's not important for me.
"We are getting used to this kind of speculation and rumours. My
players know very well what we have to do, now and in the future."
Chelsea next face Championship side Hull City in the FA Cup fifth round before a blockbuster clash against Barcelona in the Champions League on February 20.
Kick-off is at 22:00.