Antonio Conte says his players must be pleased with the form which has won four consecutive games, but knows there are areas where we still need to improve.
Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Swansea City extended our winning run after back-to-back Premier League victories over Southampton and Burnley, and another over the Saints in the FA Cup semi-final. The Italian was delighted with the latest three points and, in particular, the blossoming partnership between Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud in attack.
‘They played a very good game, they showed a good link between them,’ said Conte. ‘I’m very pleased for their performance, but not only for these two players, for the team. It wasn’t easy to get three points against Swansea because they are in a good moment of form, especially at home. In the last five games they won four and they drew only one.
‘Against Swansea we had a good balance with the three midfielders, we were very dangerous offensively with Hazard and Giroud, with the penetration of the midfielder. In fact, we scored with Fabregas from midfield.
‘We must be happy, also, because we kept a clean sheet for the second time in a row. These were positive things, but we have to try to continue until the end and do our best, and then at the end of the season we’ll see what has happened.
‘For us it is very important to try and do our best until the end. The situation is not in our hands, about a place in the Champions League, but we want to put a bit of pressure, we want to keep the hope alive. To take a place in the Champions League we need to take three points in every game.’
However, with all three of our consecutive league achieved by a single-goal margin, Conte wants to see a more ruthless Chelsea in our final few matches, to help ensure we take the maximum points needed to give us the best chance of a top-four finish.
‘Football is very simple, if you want to win you have to score, and in this season our first problem was that we were not so clinical,’ he explained. ‘Also, on Saturday, we had the chances to kill the game and you have to take them, otherwise the result stays in the balance until the end.
‘For sure there are other situations we need to improve, but if you want to win you need to score and I think this season we have dropped many points. I remember, for example, our most recent game against West Ham, we dropped two points of vital importance for us. We were winning the game and we created a lot of chances to score but we kept the result at only 1-0, and at the end they scored and drew.’