Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, says his side cannot afford to drop more points from now til the end of the season following their recent struggles.
Conte’s charges will look to get back to winning ways when they host Crystal Palace at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday as they look to secure a top four spot at the end of the season.
The Blues lost back-to-back games against Manchester United and Manchester City and currently sit in fifth position, five points behind fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur.
“The teams ahead of us are going with a great velocity and it is important for us to not drop points in games, and in the future exploit the games we have at home. We have to go at speed with them,” Conte states during his pre-match press conference at Cobham on Friday.
The Premier League champions have been widely criticised for their poor showing against Manchester City, with Conte getting the bigger stick for adopting a defensive approach in the game.
The Italian has however accepted the criticism, describing as part and parcel of the job.
“I think this is part of our job. Sometimes the critics are constructive, sometimes it is rubbish. We must have respect for the other. At the end of the day, pundits are pundits, managers are managers,” he reiterates.
The former Juventus coach also admits that his team’s confidence has been affected following recent defeats to the likes of Bournemouth and Watford.
“Our confidence, for sure, when you lose many games in a row it is not simple. You have to regret the games against Bournemouth, Watford and United,” he remarks.
“Against City, there is the possibility to lose the game. We are working very well as always and tomorrow we will see.”
Conte has only started with a striker in Chelsea’s last three games in all competitions, with Eden Hazard preferred ahead of Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud as a false nine.
The gaffer hints that he trusts the two forwards but refused to guarantee them a place in the starting line-up against Palace.
“I trust them and work with them both to bring the best physical form and condition. Morata is coming from a strange injury in his back, he was out for a long time. Giroud is in a good form now and working every day. I trust a lot in all my players,‘‘ Conte assures.
“Tomorrow, for sure, we have this option to play with Giroud or Morata as number nine. It is an important game and we want to try to get three points. We will see tomorrow, the final decision.”