Interview

Kante: Desire and preparation

N’Golo Kante says Chelsea are aiming for a 100 per cent record as we enter the busy Christmas period, starting with what he knows will be a tough match at Brighton.

The Frenchman knows from his previous three seasons in the Premier League just how demanding the winter schedule can be in England, but feels that is no reason to lower our expectations going into every match over the next month or two.

That begins when we visit the South Coast on Sunday, having concluded our Europa League group stage action in Budapest on Thursday evening. Maurizio Sarri rotated his line-up for the match against Vidi and Kante also believes the depth in the squad will continue to be important during this period.

‘This is a time of the season when many games are coming after only a few days of rest,’ said Kante. ‘We will try to win all the games because it is important, but at the same time we have a lot of players available to play and I think this will be the most important thing to have a good month.

‘Brighton, we know last season it was a difficult game to play, so we want to go there with the desire to win with a good preparation. It will only be three days after the Europa League so we will go there to continue what we did last week against Manchester City.’

That visit of Man City to Stamford Bridge saw us return to winning ways in the Premier League with a memorable performance against the reigning champions to secure a 2-0 victory, with Kante himself making a rare appearance on the score sheet.

However, despite featuring more regularly in advanced positions due to playing a slightly different role in the midfield under Sarri than in his previous seasons with the Blues, he insists he is not setting himself any goalscoring targets, even if he is enjoying the increased number of opportunities coming his way.

‘No specific target, but I know in this position I have many chances and when I can get the opportunity to score I’m happy and I hope for more to come,’ he explained with a smile.

‘I think the position doesn’t change everything. I know I have a bit of work to do in this position but I enjoy to play in this position. I can enjoy more of the offensive play and I am, but I know I have a little work to do and I can still improve.’

That work to improve is of course happening mainly when working with Sarri on the training pitch, and Kante says he and his team-mates are enjoying the Italian’s different approach to training and footballing philosophy.

‘It is true that he prefers to train in the afternoon and in the training he likes to put the accent on the offensive play,’ added the 27-year-old, who last month signed a new five-year contract with the club.

‘He wants us to play with enthusiasm, try and enjoy our football, and all the team are enjoying this idea of football. I think you can see it during the game, but we are playing very well and we try always to play and to find a solution by playing good football.’

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