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Conference Call: Good for our confidence

Antonio Conte’s 50th Premier League game in charge of Chelsea was one to remember as we recorded our biggest margin of victory at the Hawthorns and moved up the Premier League table.

Eden Hazard scored twice, with Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso also on target in a comprehensive 4-0 victory for Conte's side.

It was an afternoon of countless positives for the Blues: a fourth consecutive Premier League win, a third straight league clean sheet and the opportunity for Conte to withdraw three key performers – Cesc Fabregas, Hazard and N’Golo Kante – for the closing stages with one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League game against Qarabag.

‘I think it was very important for us to start this period with a good win, especially against West Brom because don’t forget last season we struggled against them in both games. We won 1-0 twice, but we struggled.

‘Today I think the game became easy because we started very well, with great concentration and focus. We showed great solidity and there was a great link between our strikers. We played very well but West Brom are a really strong team physically and it’s difficult to play against them.

‘To win in this way is very important for our confidence, especially now we are going to play an important game on Wednesday. I think it will be the most important game of the season because we have the possibility, with a win, to go into the next round of the Champions League, so to start our path in this way was very positive.’

Conte was asked if he felt we could go on a similar run to last season’s 13-game winning sequence

‘I hope so because last season we won 13 games in a row and in this league it’s not simple to have this type of run. In every game you have to play with focus and concentration or you risk dropping points. Four wins in a row is good for our confidence, we started the season with many problems but we are slowly starting to find the right solution. I’m very happy with the commitment of my players.

‘It doesn’t depend on us because Man City are playing very well and having fantastic results. We have to continue in this way and show this solidity and create many chances to score. It was another clean sheet for us and it’s important to find the right balance when you have the ball and when you are without it. Slowly we are changing something from last season.’

Conte spoke about Hazard, who scored twice, needing more protection from referees

‘Today Eden played very well and I think he showed great patience despite some situations which were very strong. I was a player and I understand when you play against these type of players it’s very difficult to stop them and sometimes you try to find a different way.

‘Now he has to continue in this way, he’s 100 per cent fit and he’s enjoying his football with us which is important.

‘This season we started with a lot of problems, Hazard was one of them because he didn’t work during pre-season after surgery. Then he started to play with us after a few games.

‘Today the starting 11 was the same as against United. We played well in that game and we did again today but don’t forget we have to play a lot of games in a few days, so I need all of my players.

‘Victor Moses is progressing well and I hope to have him back from tomorrow, for the game after Qarabag. It’s important to have all the senior players in good form without injuries.’

Conte was also asked if he felt leaders Manchester City can be caught

‘Now it’s very difficult to think someone can stop them. They are having a fantastic run, they have only drawn one game at home to Everton. It was a pity to play against them two days after playing Atletico Madrid away. We came back at 5 in the morning on the Thursday and played on Saturday, so sometimes whoever prepares the fixtures must pay great attention to give each team the same opportunity. One team was favourite and you could see if we’d won against City the difference wouldn’t have been nine points.

‘Now we have another problem. We play Qarabag on Wednesday, we get back to London at 5am or 6am on Thursday and then have a game against Liverpool on Saturday. Is this normal? I don’t think so. If people want more balance in this league they must pay great attention when preparing the fixtures.’

 

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