Antonio Conte had plenty of reasons to be happy after tonight’s resounding pre-season win, among them the performances of his younger players.
The boss acknowledged after the 3-0 victory against WAC RZ Pellets that there remain areas to work on but his overall sentiment was one of satisfaction.
‘Before the game I asked my players that after a week of strong work, physically and tactically, I wanted to see the improvement in our idea of football,’ the boss revealed.
‘I received a good answer. I know we can improve, I know we must improve, but we are at the beginning of the season. We are working very hard. Every day we have two very hard training sessions.
‘I saw a lot of good things today and also situations we can improve. That’s normal. It was nice to win, it’s important to have this habit for everyone’s mentality despite many players being very tired after the training sessions. I’m also happy because I saw a good attitude.’
Our three scorers against WAC RZ Pellets – Bertrand Traore, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah – are aged 21 and younger
‘We have many young players and all are working very hard. I’m happy about that.
‘Ruben is young with great potential. I like him a lot in the position of striker. He can improve a lot because he has great potential, good technique, good personality and he is good one v one.
‘It’s normal he can improve and normal too that Chalobah and Aina can improve. Aina is showing the Academy is a good school and it is very important for the club. If I can count on these players it’s a new source for me.
‘In the future I want to see other very young players like [Tammy] Abraham and [Dominic] Solanke. I am very happy to have young players to work with, and who I can improve and permit to become Chelsea first team players, not young players.’
Conte spoke in more detail about Loftus-Cheek playing as a striker
‘Every manager has their own idea about a system of play. In this system, with two midfielders, Ruben can play close to the other forward but become a forward when we have the ball. He has the right characteristics to play in this position and he showed that today.'
Michy Batshuayi made his first Chelsea appearance playing the final half-hour and looking lively
‘He has trained three days and today I wanted to see if after these three days he understood some tactical aspects. He can improve a lot, he can become a strong forward, he is very young but with great talent and I am happy with him.’
Reports suggest Sam Allardyce will soon be named the new England manager and Conte spoke about him and what it is like to take charge of a national team
‘I know Sam. I visited him at the West Ham training ground two years ago. I can say the experience is fantastic because you are the coach of your country and this is a great responsibility. You feel great pressure but it’s fantastic. You represent your country, your colours and I am happy for him if becomes the manager of the national team.’