Conte challenges Chelsea to fight to be champions
alarm bells were ringing when Abramovich felt compelled to make a visit to Chelsea’s training ground following successive defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal in September.
Those chastening results have been heralded as the turning point in Chelsea’s season as Conte switched to his preferred three-man defensive system and the Blues immediately reeled off 13 consecutive league wins.
But, just as significantly, Conte persuaded his players to buy into his belief that the foundations for success are laid on the training pitch, where focus on tactical discipline, patterns of play and supreme physical fitness have all been rewarded.
Ensuring that powerful dressing room voices like John Terry, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas weren’t granted special treatment also won over players who felt undervalued during Mourinho’s turbulent reign.
Conte this week gave a glimpse of the steely streak he has imposed on his players so impressively.
“I like to underline a concept, I don’t have to keep the players happy. We must win,” Conte said.
“You speak about ‘happy’. I speak about ‘to win’ and to work very hard.
“Players are not always happy to work very hard. But I think my target is to put in the mind of my players a winning mentality.
“It’s very difficult to keep 20