N’Golo Kante believes the Blues can go into today’s game between Chelsea and Manchester City with plenty of optimism.
The midfielder scored one of the goals as we became the first side to beat the Citizens this season thanks to a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in December and, although he knows this is a completely different proposition, he says morale is high within our ranks.
‘It was an important game for us when we played them in December,’ he explained. ‘This will be another game, it will be difficult, but of course the last game gave us confidence that it is possible to win and I hope we’ll get a good result there.
‘It’s been a little bit difficult away from home in 2019, but we will try to get the result we want because we need to start to have many wins to keep the top four spot.’
N'Golo Kante says finishing in the Champions League qualification places is our immediate target, and a positive result at the Etihad Stadium will be the ideal boost as we look to recapture the consistency we displayed in the first few months of the season.
‘I think we are a little bit far from the title race, but we will try to give our best until the season has finished,’ he said. ‘The most important thing is to finish the season in the top four. If we do very well and we are able to fight for the title, why not, but the most important thing is to get into the top four.
‘I think if we have a review of the first six or seven months of the season, we have had a little bit of inconsistency when we lost some games to put us in the position we are in now, but we need to work hard, keep going and go on a good run. We are still in four competitions and we can reach our goals.’
Having provided the assists for both of Gonzalo Higuain’s goals in last weekend’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield, Kante also discussed his performances in a more advanced position on the pitch this term.
‘I think I played some good and not so good games, but the most important thing is to play as a team, to complement our team-mates, to be organised and work together. I think in training we prepare the game in the best way and we need to reproduce that in the games.
‘I think I have improved some aspects of my style of play, to play for combinations with my team-mates, to try to find the best passes, to get my chances to shoot and score. I think I have improved, but I have a lot of work ahead and I keep working in the way the manager wants me to.
‘I am enjoying the way I am playing in this position and I hope to win things together with my team-mates and my coach and this is the most important thing.’
Discussing the style of play Maurizio Sarri has introduced and the comments he made about his players after last month’s defeat at Arsenal, Kante insists he and his team-mates are giving their all to deliver what the head coach wants.
‘He wanted to make us understand what he was feeling about us and we worked on that,’ he explains. ‘We had a good week when we won against Tottenham and Sheffield Wednesday. Then we lost at Bournemouth and won very well against Huddersfield, so I hope we can continue in that way. We understand what the manager wants from us and we will try to give our best answer.
‘He has his idea of playing, he wants us to play an attacking style of football and we try to do it in the best way. We are working very hard in training and we try to reproduce that in the games. In some games we can see we have played very well, with an attacking style. Some games we score and some games we play very well and don’t score, but I think we are playing very good football.’