Conference Call: Our desire returned
news Sat 14 Apr 2018
Antonio Conte declared himself as pleased with his team’s approach to the game in the second half at Southampton as he had been unhappy with it before the interval.
Chelsea had trailed the relegation-threatened Saints 1-0 at the break and matters got even worse when we conceded again with an hour gone, but that prompted the introduction of Olivier Giroud who scored in splendid fashion soon after and then hit a winner after Eden Hazard had equalised.
Asked after the game if he had believed the 3-2 win could be possible when his team were so far in arrears, Conte said he had certainly not given up hope...
‘For sure in every moment of the game you must think positive and that you can come back despite the score being 2-0 down,’ he said. ‘I must be honest and I was very angry with our first half because we did not show great desire, great will to fight and will to play in the right way. After the first half I was very disappointed but I am the coach and if the desire is not right and we cannot fight in the right way, I am the first person to take responsibility.
‘In the second half we showed great character and reaction and desire to win the game. We showed the right fire in our eyes and I am pleased with the second half. It is not important to win, lose or draw, what is important is to show great intensity and will to fight to the end.’
Conte spoke about two-goal Giroud…
‘I am very happy for Olivier. He scored but we changed something in the second half and the difference was the approach, the spirit and the will to fight and try not to lose another game.
‘We have two strikers and Olivier arrived at Chelsea in January after a bad muscular problem. Now he has good fitness and I try to make the best decisions for the game. Alvaro Morataa scored against Leicester and Tottenham. I have two good strikers and I try to make the best decision at the start or during the game. We must be happy we scored three times.’
The boss does not think single individual errors were behind the goals conceded…
‘Usually when you concede a goal there is not only one mistake. For sure to go 2-0 down in that moment was difficult for us, but in this moment you understand that you must have great heart. In the second half, we must be pleased because I saw this. In the first half I was very disappointed.’