Antonio Conte believes Chelsea's 4-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday (23 October) was especially important to send a statement over the club ambitions, following the Blues previous defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal. Yet, the Italian boss urged his side to forget about the victory over the Red Devils in order to keep the good run ahead of the EFL fourth round encounter with West Ham on Wednesday night.
Conte's job at Chelsea came under some scrutiny last month after his side suffered two successive disappointing defeats in the Premier League to Liverpool and Arsenal. The boss decided then to make a drastic change by switching to a 3-4-3 formation and the Blues have responded in an impressive way by beating Hull City, Leicester City and United in the following three games.
"It was very important for our ambition. After defeats against two great teams, Liverpool and Arsenal, it was very important to have a good answer and win against a very strong team like Man United," Conte said in the press conference after the game. "We are working very hard, I see my players every day with the right commitment and work-rate. We took three points and we won against a strong team. This type of win usually increases your confidence. You trust your work more."
The Italian boss couldn't hide his delight over the Blues performance against United but pointed out that there is still much work to do, starting with a victory over West Ham in the EFL Cup.
"Now we must continue. Manchester United is the past for me. We must be concentrated on Wednesday. It's important to recover the energy and to prepare for another difficult game," the boss said. "The most important victories in my career are when I won a title or a cup. You can win a battle, I prefer to win the war.
"It's very difficult to talk about our position at the end of the season. We must continue to improve and then we'll see, but I'm pleased because I am seeing the work during the game."
Furthermore, Conte praised his team efforts in defence as Thibaut Courtois has not conceded a goal since the defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
"I'm very delighted with the performance," Conte beamed. "Today we played very well with good intensity and with good possession. We moved the ball very quickly and created many chances to score goals. Above all we didn't concede a goal which is very important. The players deserve this performance and this win."