January 5, 2017

'Spurs Defeat Will Test Us'  (Sky Sports)

Diego CostaChelsea boss Antonio Conte believes the defeat to Tottenham could be a "good test" of his players' mental strength.

Spurs ended the Blues winning run - stopping them short of a top-flight record of 14 straight victories - and cut their lead at the Premier League summit to five points with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.

Conte insists his side must immediately get back to work and show a reaction in their next game, but he believes this loss is "totally different" to their previous defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal in September.

"It could be a good test (for us)," he said. "After a defeat it is always very difficult to know your reaction.

"Now we have to restart and work. I think this defeat is totally different from our defeats in September, because against Liverpool and Arsenal - in that moment - we were not a team.

"Tonight we showed we are strong team, and this is important. We tried to fight. We tried to win the game. I saw the right will in my players.

"My thinking does not change, whether we win or lose. Training does not change. We must continue to work and our priority now is to win the next game."

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino matched Chelsea's 3-4-3 system and came out on top - but Conte does not yet see any reason to change his formation despite admitting teams are adapting to his philosophy.

"It is not simple to change the formation in one day, or one week, because it is normal to work in one system and formation," he added. "When you change a lot and use different systems, I think it means that you don't work a lot in this formation.

"It is very strange that you ask me, after one defeat after 13 wins in a row, if I am thinking changing the formation. It is very difficult because I am seeing that, to stop us, the other teams are changing to this formation, no?

"I think we have found a good balance with this formation and we continue. In the future it could happen. But I need more time to work and to change a formation and system. In my mind there is this possibility."

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