We prepare to visit the south coast this weekend off the back of important Premier League and Carabao Cup victories, with Antonio Conte having utilised the full squad available to him over the past week following the thrilling Champions League draw against Roma at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard netted twice against the Italians, his first goals of the campaign after missing the start of the season through injury. Fully fit and raring to go, he spoke exclusively with the official Chelsea newsletter about some of the current hot topics...
Eden, when you return from injury and readjust to playing again, how much do the goals help you to get back in the swing of things?
‘The goals help, for sure. The goals help the confidence. For the body, you just need practice and to play. That’s it.’
How do you assess our current form?
‘For the confidence, it’s better to win games. I think we played a good game in the second half against Roma. We were unlucky just to draw the game.
‘Against Watford, it was not easy, but at least at the end we took the three points. I think confidence is getting better now, so we just want to keep this mood and just keep playing and winning games in the big competitions.’
How important will it be to consolidate that win over Watford with another victory this weekend against Bournemouth?
‘We lost the previous two games, to Man City and Crystal Palace, and we did better against Watford. So, we just want to keep going in this way, and win.
‘We know Bournemouth is a good team, they like to play football and have good players, but when we go there we do well also. Last season, we scored three goals; two years ago, we scored four goals. So, yeah, I think everything is ready for us to have a good game.’
It already looks as though you have developed a strong understanding with Alvaro Morata?
‘He’s a top striker. When good players play together, they don’t need to train two years. When we are on the pitch, we can see the movements he does and his technical ability is good so, with Alvaro – and, before, with Diego as well – it’s good.
‘I try to have a good connection with my striker because, in my position, it’s good to have this player who is like a target man, so I need a good connection with him.’