Chelsea beat Wolves 2-0 at the Molineux Stadium, and Antonio Conte was very careful in his selection for the game against Paul Lambert’s men.
Speaking before the game, Conte revealed that he’d try to find the right balance in the team to play against Wolves, while also revealing that he’d hand out rests to some senior players.
The Italian chose a squad that had a balanced mix of his first teamers and some fringe players as well.
Cesc Fabregas was in the starting lineup, and the back three was entirely changed as Kurt Zouma, John Terry and Nathan Ake were selected to start. The likes of Michy Batshuayi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek didn’t start today, as Conte chose a very experienced attacking side.
Speaking of his selection, Conte said: “We are in this great competition to try to win, not just to find a solution to make someone happy. I have to show always respect to my players and make the best decisions for every game and today for sure I will try to do this.
“When a player does not start he is not happy, but I don’t want him to be happy because I want the player to try to fight to give me problems to solve to find the best selection for the team. I am pleased to have a group of players that are growing very well in all aspects – technical, tactical and mentality, feeling the right responsibility for the season. Believe me, it is not easy to have those type of groups, and we have grown a lot in these seven months. We must continue to improve and put the team above all. Honestly, I am very pleased to observe this.
“I was a footballer and for this reason I know what happens in the changing room, for the players that are used to playing every game, for the players who are not playing a lot, for the players who are not playing,’ he adds. ‘The most important thing is always to have great respect for all, not only to pay most attention to 11 players. For me every single player is the most important. I try always to pay good attention to every single player, I want to give them great respect because I demand this and I think this is the way to have a good dressing room.
“The best way is to leave your door always open and if I have to make a choice, it is not important to always explain this choice but if the player wants to ask me, the player knows very well that my door is always open to explain the reason why I made this decision. When you are honest in your choices you can always look your player straight in the eye.”