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Conte: Front to back

Our first clean sheet of the season was achieved on Saturday because of the hard work of the whole team, according to Antonio Conte.

The Blues enter the first international break of the season with a 100 per cent record after a 3-0 victory over Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

Having conceded once in each of our previous two top-flight matches this term, we prevented the Clarets from even registering a shot on Thibaut Courtois' goal and for this the manager believes every player deserves credit.

'I'm pleased to score the goals, it's always important to score one more goal than your opponent, but to keep a clean sheet is also important for the confidence of the whole team,' said the head coach.

'When you keep a clean sheet, the whole team works very well, not only the defenders. When we concede a goal, all of the team concedes a goal.

'If I am able to choose our way to defend it is to go forward and not behind. When you stay too much behind, there is the long ball and anything can happen. We are improving this aspect.'

The performance of Eden Hazard, in particular, attracted praise, with Match of the Day pundits Alan Shearer and Ruud Gullit opining that the Belgian wide-man has rediscovered his best form.

Conte, however, preferred to focus on our No.10's work-rate and attitude.

'During the game I ask a lot of my wingers and usually after 70 or 80 minutes they are very tired so it's the right moment to change and put on fresh players to increase the intensity of the game,' said the Italian, who has taken off a winger with five of his nine substitutions in the league.

'Eden is a fantastic player, he has great talent and I know he is a good guy. As a boy he wants to improve, he wants to work very hard to improve himself and I'm pleased about this.

'I want to work with my players to improve them and to put them in the best condition. We have fantastic wingers, very good at one-v-one, and it's important to put them in the best condition.'

The confidence flowing through the team in the early stages of the 2016/17 season has been clear for all to see, but Conte is refusing to get carried away by our perfect start.

'It's important to keep the last season in our mind,' he said. 'When there is a difficult situation it is important to look behind to find new strength to go forward.

‘We have started the season in the right way. I think we must go step by step, to face every game with the right intensity, the right concentration and the right focus.'

 

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