Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has called on his players to stay focused when they face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in Wednesday's English Premier League fixture, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Conte while provlaiming that the current form Sunderland is one of the best in the league in recent weeks, admits that he never believed the Blues will go on a nine game winning streak. And he hopes they can continue the impressive run.
David Moyes side have chalked up three wins in their last five games.
Conte remained coy on the players available for the Wednesday's game against the Black Cats while fielding questions from journalists during his pre-match conference on Tuesday.
Conte who has won the manager of the month award twice this term also played down the transfer talks linking Cesc Fabregas away from the club in January.
"In football it is difficult to guarantee something. In my opinion, Cesc is an important player for us and he played a key match against Manchester City and came on well in the last match," Conte said during his pre-match conference.
"Cesc is always a good choice for me. I repeat – he is an important player. He is in the squad and now this is the reality."
He also paid tributes to Chelsea skipper, John Terry, who will not be offered a new deal at the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
"John is our captain. I think he's doing a good job. When he's not playing, he's helping me in the changing room to send the right message to the players.
"He loves this club and I think it's important to be focused on the moment and not the future."
On Cesar Azpilicueta who signed a new three and half year deal, keeping him at Chelsea until 2020, Conte expressed his delight at the Spaniard who can play roles.
"I'm pleased for him. I'm pleased with his work-rate, commitment and ability to play different positions. He's a really good player."
The 27-year-old Spaniard who is equally pleased to extend his deal will make his 200th Chelsea appearance if selected at Sunderland Wednesday night as Chelsea seek a 10th successive Premier League victory.
Conte also confirmed Kenedy has returned to the club from his loan spell at Watford. The Italian revealed that he will evaluate the Brazilian in the coming days before deciding whether he stays or goes out again on loan.
"There was this situation because Kennedy wasn't playing," Conte explained.
"For this reason I think the best decision was to come back, to stay with us, and work with us and to evaluate him this month, and then to take the best decision, to say with us or go on loan again."
On the inactive Reuben Loftus-Cheek, he said: 'He has great potential, it's important to show this in order to improve. I count on him.'