Saturday’s comeback win against Southampton proved Antonio Conte’s players are ready to establish themselves as a force to reckon with in the next few weeks despite falling behind in the title race, according to their Italian manager.
The Blues have suffered several defeats this season, making it a season to forget following their remarkable title win last campaign.
Last season’s Premier League champions are not the side they used to be and that was visible at the St. Mary’s stadium on Saturday when they were pegged back by their opponents twice. Chelsea went behind by two goals in the first half but recovered well in the second.
Olivier Giroud masterminded the turnaround, when he was introduced in the first half, and within 10 minutes completed a comeback victory over the relegation threatened side.
Antonio Conte, clearly looking for more reactions like these for the remaining games this season in the top flight, as they battle to stay within touching distance of the last Champions League qualifying spot.
“They must have great respect for this badge, they don’t have to play for the coach, they have to play for the club and for our fans. To show great character, like today. This is the best possible way for a player to show that he is a fantastic professional. Now, the most important thing is that my players, they have had this reaction, it doesn’t matter if the coach speaks at half-time or says anything [at all].
I think the most important thing is that in the second half, I saw the right reaction of all my players. I think you have to play to try to win because we work very hard every day. I work very hard, my staff work very hard and my players work very hard.”
Antonio Conte, Goal