Antonio Conte has been named Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for December, becoming the first man to win the prize three times in succession.
The Italian, who beat off competition from Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, has been rewarded for the team’s fine form throughout the month, when we took maximum points from our six matches.
Just like in October and November, when Conte also won the award, the Blues were able to produce exciting attacking football while also remaining solid from a defensive perspective.
We conceded just three goals in December, with two of those coming in our final game of the month, the 4-2 win against Stoke City. We scored 13, including three away at Manchester City.
Conte was delighted to take the prize once again, particularly given the number of fixtures over the course of what is always a busy month.
‘I’m very proud,’ he tells the official Chelsea website. ‘It’s a great honour for me but I want to say thanks to all of my players, my staff (pictured below) and the club because we won the award together. Now it’s important to continue to work very well together.
‘I enjoyed my first Christmas period a lot. This type of atmosphere only happens in England and it was fantastic. I hope to experience it again many times in the future.
‘When you win you usually see a lot of positive things and every game was different. We won six matches and to do that, especially in December, is very difficult.
‘If I had to pick out one game I would choose West Brom, because it was very tough and we scored with 15 minutes remaining. My players showed me great character and a strong will to win right until the end that day, which I always like to see.’
Conte’s focus now switches to ensuring we strengthen our position at the top of the table tomorrow when we travel to Leicester.
‘It’s a big game,’ he says. ‘We started January with a loss against Tottenham, which was a pity because I think the game was well balanced, but now we have a tough game at Leicester and it’s important to restart a good run in the Premier League, we must play with great concentration.’
You can watch a special Chelsea TV video below which has been created to celebrate Conte's achievement.