Antonio Conte says Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante are deserving of their PFA Players' Player of the Year nominations, but insists all his team are performing to the highest standard.
We are the only club with more than one player on the six-man shortlist,which was announced earlier this week, with Hazard and Kante both in the running. However, in keeping with the team ethic Conte has stood by since arriving at Stamford Bridge last summer, the Italian is adamant every player deserves the credit for our form this season.
'I think all my players are performing very well and this is the reason we are on top of the table,' he said. 'I'm pleased for them for this nomination, but I'm pleased for all my players because they are doing a good job.'
However, his eagerness to spread the praise around his squad has not stopped him feeling pride for the performances of the two players nominated as the Premier League's best by their fellow professional footballers.
'Both players are having a good season. You are seeing N'Golo performing and Hazard performing and I am very pleased for this because my task and the task of all my staff is to put every single player in the best situation – technically, physically, mentally – to give the best of himself, and I think we are doing a great job with my players.
'During the game you can see their commitment and I think it is great with the ball, without the ball. Eden is working very well for the team when we are in ball possession and when we are without the ball. Eden is becoming a complete player and it's great for him.
'N'Golo is improving a lot, not only to win the ball, to recover the ball, but also we are working to improve the last pass.'
Conte also discussed the importance of dialogue between he and his players, both when communicating his plans for the team in pre-season and throughout the campaign as the challenges we face have changed.
'It is very important to speak with your players,' he explained. 'I think also it is very important to find the right moment to speak with them. For sure the start of the season is a crucial moment, but also during the season when you understand that there is less hunger, there is less concentration – because don't forget when you have a good result it is normal that the concentration, the focus is a bit less than before – and I think it's right to speak with your players and try to find the right moment to speak with them.'