Chelsea’s squad returned to work on Friday and were left in no doubt about what head coach Conte now expects of them after granting captain Gary Cahill’s request for three days off after the embarrassing 4-1 defeat by Watford.
That result had come on the back of a 3-0 loss at home to Bournemouth and prompted suggestions Conte could be sacked before the end of the season, when he is expected to leave in any case. Conte remains in charge for Monday’s game against West Bromwich Albion and needs his players to back up their claims they are still behind him with a much-improved performance. On their return to training, players were told that now was the time to prove they were men and to face up to the challenge ahead of them.
Conte had accused them of playing with fear and questioned their character in the immediate aftermath of the Watford defeat, and the Italian made it clear on Friday that there was no room for any sort of immaturity.
Publicly, at least, Conte seems confident his message will have hit the spot. Asked whether his squad could respond in the right manner to two successive defeats, he said: “We are talking about players who have played at this level for many years. Honestly, I think these type of players…Read More