It is far too early for any talk of a league and cup double for Chelsea this season Antonio Conte insisted after his side knocked out Wolves on Saturday evening, and events earlier in the day are part of the reason why.
Our 2-0 FA Cup win at Molineux was secured by Pedro and Diego Costa goals but the home side did not make it easy, especially early on, and although in our case the Premier League side prevailed, Lincoln City and Millwall had knocked out top-flight Burnley and Leicester prior to our game kicking off.
‘It was the toughest game we have played in this competition so far for sure,’ said Conte as he reflected on our victory.
‘But we all knew it would be, above all after the results this afternoon. I tried to warn the changing room about the difficulty of this game, and of this completion. I like to repeat that in England in every game in every competition there does not exist an easy game It is the truth.
‘Wolverhampton started the game very well with great intensity. They tried to develop the play on the flank and put a lot of crosses in but we defended well. They hit the post early on and we were lucky in this circumstance but in the second half we played our football, scored two goals and created chances, but Wolverhampton deserve my compliments.
‘In the league we are doing a great job in staying on top of the table and now we are in the FA Cup quarter-final and I am pleased for this,’ he added, ‘but after this game it is important to understand that nothing is easy. It will be very difficult to win both competitions but we want to try to win some trophies.’
Included in the changes Conte made to the team line-up for this game were starts for the senior pair John Terry and Cesc Fabregas.
They played very well,’ praised Conte. It is not easy when you don’t play a lot, and John and Cesc and all the players showed me they have good form and it means they are good professionals. It is great to have these type of players in my squad because I can count on them.’
Our manager added his congratulations to the many given to Lincoln City on becoming the first non-league side to make it this far in the FA Cup for over a century.
‘This is a great achievement for them and for the FA Cup. It is incredible and I think impossible in Italy. It shows anything can happen if you trust in the work and have a great will to fight. I am pleased to live this story with them as we are with them in the quarter-finals.’