Belfast Telegraph

Conte is keen for Chelsea to give campaign a massive lift

Bournemouth 0 Chelsea 1

By Nick Purewal

Chelsea must fight to transform their season in a pivotal week ahead, according to boss Antonio Conte.

The Blues manager has told his Stamford Bridge players to go "game by game" in attempting to set their Premier League title defence back on track.

But Conte also conceded Chelsea must chase positive results at Roma and when hosting Manchester United - to hand their campaign a timely boost.

Chelsea could put one foot in the Champions League knockout stages with victory in Rome tomorrow, before facing United on Sunday in a bid to cut their nine-point deficit on Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Asked if a positive week now could allow Chelsea to transform their season and deliver a timely pick-me-up, Conte - after Eden Hazard's goal earned a 1-0 win over Bournemouth - replied: "We have to try to do this. It won't be easy, but I think we have to go game by game.

"Now the most important game for us is Roma in the Champions League. Then after this game we must start to think about Manchester United."

Conte will take Chelsea to his homeland for the first time since leaving his post as Italy manager for Stamford Bridge in 2016.

He insisted his players can cope with whatever intimidating atmosphere awaits at the Stadio Olimpico and also downplayed any issues over the racist chanting directed at Antonio Rudiger in the 3-3 draw with Roma at Stamford Bridge on October 18.

Asked if he expected any repeat of those unsavoury chants, Conte said: "No."

Belfast Telegraph

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