Monday, March 27, 2017

Conte hails Chelsea attitude after record-equalling win

SoccerNews in English Premier League 31 Dec 2016

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Antonio Conte feels Chelsea equalling Arsenal’s record for successive Premier League victories is just reward for his team’s work-rate and attitude.

Chelsea matched their London rivals’ benchmark – set in the 2001-02 season – with their 13th consecutive win, defeating Stoke City 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Blues twice took the lead only for Stoke to draw level each time, but Willian’s second of the contest and a Diego Costa effort made sure of the points for the league leaders.

“This is a great achievement for my players, for the club, for our fans after a bad season like last season,” Conte told Sky Sports.

“I’m pleased for them because every day in the training sessions and during the game, I see great attitude, great work-rate, will to fight, to try to win. After two times the other team drew [level], the will to find another win, I’m pleased for them and they deserve this.”

Asked about the harmony he has with the players after the match, Conte replied: “It is important to have good relations, not only between me and the players but also all the people who are working in Chelsea and working with us.

“This is the real secret, this family, we win and we lose together, with the players, the staff, all the people who is working for Chelsea.”

Conte was seen high-fiving the supporters in celebration during the game and conceded: “During the game it’s very difficult for me to keep my emotions [in check]. When we have this type of game, very tough, and we find the right way to win.”

Stoke manager Mark Hughes, meanwhile, bemoaned the errors that prevented his side from taking anything from west London.

“It’s a similar story to our efforts at Liverpool [in a 4-1 loss on Tuesday]. We got back level, but then conceded poor goals. We’ve made mistakes and good teams punish you,” Hughes told BBC Sport.

“I thought we did really well, showing courage to get back in the game. I thought we were good value to get a draw, but we can’t keep on making the mistakes we are at the moment because it’s hurting us.

“We were positive, got back level and it was up for grabs. For their third goal, the ball went through about four of our players. We can’t keep defending as we are in key moments. If we take that out of our game, we will be fine.”

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