Antonio Conte praised the Blues game spirit in the match at Selhurst Park.
The Italian was impressed with his team attitude to this game, they didn’t give place to the opponent’s intensity from the starting whistle.
“I see my players have become mentally stronger, – says Antonio Conte. – It is not easy to carry out the match with a high level of physical efforts, fitting mind-set, knowledge of necessary things to win, and the same level of intensity as Crystal Palace.”
“The most important thing is these talented players have full intensity to use their abilities for the good of the team. It’s fantastic for me and for the fans to see such a devoted game attitude and a desire to fight for every pitch of the field.”
The team got the 10th whitewash during incredible winning run. Conte praised this achievement, but admitted that Chelsea must have added in the attack game. The last two meetings, where the team won with a minimum score, showed this.
“I appreciate this, it’s fantastic, because it is not so easy not to miss the goals in this league. The opponent always has an opportunity to score, whether it is a corner or a direct free kick, it does not matter.”
“I think we could have scored more goals on Saturday, but did it just once, the same thing happened in the game with Sunderland. We can improve our game and convert goal chancesbetter, because in such matches you risk till the final whistle, leading score winning edge. We risked losing points in Sunderland, and only Thibaut Courtois brilliant save allowed us to keep the winning score. We can improve the attack game.”
Conte remarked the last two team defeats in the league from Liverpool and Arsenal were awakening for the whole team, including himself.
“Something has changed in me, in my players, in the club itself after the defeats – Antonio Conte explained. – We realized the plan to move on to spend another season in comparison with the previous.”
“We found the right solution with the game scheme, as well as improved teamwork level in all aspects. We worked out it both from the tactical point of view and terms of physical strength. And I’m happy about it, because we have changed a lot after those two unsuccessful matches.”
“I like to win and I do not like to see how my team loses, especially deservedly. I tried to make the right game decisions, decisions outside the field as well as the right ones regarding my players. I explained them we deserve to spend this season better than the last one.”
The team tried the new game scheme for the first time in the second half of the match with the Gunners. Conte admits he has successfully used it before, but believes a well-timed use to be one of the great importance in such decisive changes.
“I had this idea in my head even before the match with Liverpool. I was thinking about it also, when we started the game with Arsenal. Then I asked my team to play with 3 central defenders.”
“To change the situation safely is always difficult. You have to go step by step and bring your ideas to the whole team. I wanted to change the scheme before the match with Liverpool, but I waited for the right moment. You always hope you will not have to change something in the team much. My team players always played with 4 defenders.”
The Blues will meet Bournemouth the next match on the Boxing Day. Conte explains this game will be the common Premier League match for the team. Nevertheless, Chelsea expects to extend its winning run.
“The players stay together during the Christmas holidays, as in standard situations before common games. We will have dinner at the hotel at 9 pm, go to bed, and play game next day with a hope to continue our winning run. We are under serious pressure now. After 11 wins we are pleased with such a situation, as we want to keep winning.”
Conte added, speaking of the January transfer window: “We should be very happy with what we have achieved at this point However, it is logical that I’m looking for solutions to my club to be in a good position at the end of the season. I do not know what will happen in January. It is important to talk with club bosses in this situation as we have a fantastic relationship. I have my own ideas, but I prefer to discuss them with the club».