Conte keeps faith in Fabregas as Chelsea go on the attack

Published: 24th September 2016 08:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2016 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

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Chelsea's team manager Antonio Conte celebrates after his team won the English Premier League soccer match between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road stadium in London. | AP

LONDON: Antonio Conte is ready to give Cesc Fabregas the chance to silence the Arsenal boo-boys as he prepares to send his Chelsea team on the attack at the Emirates today.

Fabregas is in line to make his first Premier League start of the season against his former club -Arsenal and is sure to get a hot -reception from the home supporters who were upset by his move to Stamford Bridge.

Conte, the Chelsea head coach, wants to put his team out on the front foot against Arsenal, following the lacklustre performance in the defeat to Liverpool, which means Fabregas is likely to replace Oscar.

Fabregas could be employed slightly ahead of N'Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic after scoring twice in the League Cup victory over Leicester City in midweek.

Having joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old from Barcelona, Fabregas spent eight years in north London before re-joining Barca and then moving to Chelsea in 2014.

"For Cesc, it's a special game," said Conte. "But the most important thing for Cesc is that, now, he's a Chelsea player and playing very well for Chelsea.

"I'm seeing him very focused, very concentrated, during the training sessions. He played a good game in the cup. I'm pleased with his -attitude, with his commitment during training and in the last game. When I called him to come on in the Liverpool game, too. I want to see this in all my players."

Having seen his team keep just one clean sheet in their opening seven games and with captain John Terry still out with an ankle injury, it seems Conte may have decided that the best form of defence is to attack against an Arsenal team that can be vulnerable in defence.

Asked if he thinks opponents -believe Chelsea are weak in at the back, Conte said: "I don't know. I don't know this. But if the opponents think this, they must also think that we can score a lot of goals.

"I think that when we conceded goals, all the team conceded. Not just the defenders. That means we must improve together to improve the defensive situation. The problem was there last season. Chelsea conceded 53 goals last season. We must work a lot on this -aspect. If you want to have a great championship, sure, you can't concede that many goals."

Wenger is celebrating 20 years at Arsenal, an achievement Conte has great respect for. Unlike his Chelsea predecessor, Jose Mourinho, the Italian does not believe a manager's work should be judged solely on winning.

"I think that Arsene Wenger is doing a good job, but it's normal that, when every single year you fight for the title, you want to win," said Conte. "But to stay up there every year is not easy. For this reason, I think Wenger is doing a good job with the young players. When you see Arsenal, you see good football.

"It's fantastic if someone is able to stay for 20 years in the same club. Sometimes I think it's important, when you're a manager, not only to think about win, lose or draw. The manager must also coach and do work every day during the week.

"If you see a coach or manager works very well and, during the season, you can't win, you must view him for his job, for his work. Sometimes if you judge only on wins, you make a big mistake and pay for this in the future.

"When you win, you must -understand which way you won. That's important. Sometimes the win is a situation that isn't from a solid base.

"If we don't win tomorrow or in the next game, I'm sure we will in the future. In the next game. But if I'm a director and I don't see that basis of work, you can win a game but not be sure it will go on. I think the club must value the work a coach puts in."

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