Antonio Conte praised his Chelsea side’s work ethic after they claimed a first Premier League victory since August at Hull City on Saturday.
Well-taken goals in the space of seven second-half minutes from Willian and Diego Costa secured a 2-0 win at the KCOM Stadium.
Conte’s response to back-to-back league losses at the hands of Liverpool and Arsenal was to revert to the 3-4-3 formation he used to such fine effect while in charge of Juventus and Italy.
But it was his players’ character and willingness to sweat for the cause that pleased him most as they ran out deserved winners, with Hull fortunate to avoid greater punishment after the interval.
“It’s an important win after two defeats,” he told a post-match news conference. “This win is important for the team because we are working hard.
“After two defeats it’s not easy because you must work and also find the resolution to change and to improve.
“We did a good performance with the right intensity and pressure. I like it when the team plays in this way. I like it so much.
“I saw many of the players with great commitment, attitude and will to change the situation. I am pleased for them.
“We are working very hard and I am sure we can improve a lot if we continue to work in this way.”
Chelsea were able to keep a clean sheet for the first time in four attempts across all competitions, since long-serving captain John Terry suffered a foot injury during the 2-2 draw at Swansea City.
“I am pleased for all the players because we have a clean sheet. In previous games we conceded too many goals,” Conte added.
“To finish with a clean sheet is very important. We also scored two and the performance is good. We must follow this with work, work, work!”
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