Antonio Conte says Chelsea are still building despite closing in on Double

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, has explained that he started with some of his fringe players in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, because he trusts everyone in his squad.

"I think it's easy to hide behind saying, "we lack leaders, they lack leaders, these guys have", he said.

"To win the title in England is a great achievement".

Both Manchester clubs have each splashed in the region of £150m on new players this season.

Spurs were being tipped in some quarters to edge past Chelsea, especially with Antonio Conte's men enduring a mixed spell of form and the Italian choosing to start with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench.

'It's a good season but we want it to become a great season'.

Chelsea have the chance to stretch seven points clear in the Premier League by beating Southampton tonight and Conte said: 'We must be proud.

"You have to take a risk", Conte said. "First of all it's important to win for us and to look at ourselves".

"Especially in a great moment in football like a semi-final of the FA Cup, you can lose your focus, lose your ability, and maybe you cannot play in the way that you used to play - but it was not the case". We are talking about players who wrote the history of this club.

"But we have trained very well this season and we have a lot of energy to face this type situation", Conte added.

"I think that every team must understand which are their priorities. I think they have all the possibility to do this".

"To score the amount of goals he has at his age and the position he plays is phenomenal, I don't see why he shouldn't have been up for both awards and close to winning the other as much as he won the young player", he said.

Kante has shown he is a crucial part of the Chelsea team and the midfielder was on Sunday named the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year.

"Tottenham also have one more day to rest and we play a team against a team that has 10 days to rest".

But, we only get to peak in.

Arsenal's hopes of maintaining Arsene Wenger's flawless record in qualifying for the Champions League are slim - seven points adrift of City but with a game in hand.

Cech won the Premier League and FA Cup four times apiece during a decorated Chelsea career, which also included glory in three EFL Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League before he joined Arsenal in 2015. "We can't put our finger really on why, a bit of luck, a bit of momentum swung their way and it was just hard to come back from that".

  • Julie Sanders