Antonio Conte grateful Chelsea players embraced his methods

20 May 2017 10:09

Antonio Conte has expressed gratitude that his Chelsea players embraced his methods in their Premier League title success.

Conte was concerned in September when Chelsea, despite winning their first three games, suffered back-to-back losses to Liverpool and Arsenal.

With the Blues 3-0 down at half-time, Conte reverted to a 3-4-3 system during the second half at the Emirates Stadium and the Blues did not look back.

A 13-match winning run followed and, despite some minor setbacks, Chelsea reclaimed the title relinquished to Leicester last season.

The Blues finished 10th last term, but Conte has galvanised the squad, alongside making a couple of key additions. And he praised his players for their application.

"To change our system was very important. We found the right suit for these players," Conte said.

"Then we continued to work very hard. But 'very hard' is easy to say.

"Everyone can say they work hard. But the reality is very different. We did this. We worked very hard every single day.

"I found my players with a great will and desire to improve, to try to change the situation, to try to have another season better than last season.

"This was the secret, this link. I want to say thanks to my players because every single manager can have a good idea of football.

"But then there are the players. If the players don't go into the idea with the right will or desire, it's very difficult for any coach to have a good season."

One player who fell out of favour was captain John Terry. Having started the season in the team, injury and the form of his team-mates left the skipper a peripheral figure.

Conte on Friday declined to reveal whether Terry will make his anticipated final appearance at Stamford Bridge from the start when Sunderland visit on Sunday.

Terry will lift the 15th major trophy of his career afterwards - his fifth Premier League title - and will hope to conclude his Chelsea career with a 16th at Wembley.

The 36-year-old defender, who will leave Chelsea after 22 years this summer, started in the league for the first time since September in Monday's 4-3 win over Watford.

He scored his 67th Chelsea goal on what was his 716th appearance.

Source: PA