Conte Lauds Squad Depth, Says He Trusts Every Player

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Antonio Conte believes his decision to shake up the squad for the FA Cup semifinal win over Tottenham shows his trust in his squad.

Batshuayi and Willian started in place of Costa and Hazard, with the Brazilian putting Chelsea in front with a free kick, which was cancelled by a Kane header. The forward completed his brace from the penalty spot in the first half.

Ake, who also started the match, had to tussle with the best of Tottenham. Alli equalised for Spurs in the second half.

Conte introduced Costa, Hazard and Fabregas and it proved to be the right tactical decision, as Hazard scored a goal and supplied Matic’s bullet of a goal.

“I’m pleased that Michy Batshuayi started a really important game,” he said of the Belgium striker, who is yet to start a Premier League match since joining from Marseille last year.

“It’s important for his confidence, the same for Ake who is a young player from our academy. We must be proud to see his commitment and to see the level that he played at in this type of game.

“It’s not easy, honestly, for Ake to go and play his part. I trust every single player and I think today I showed this.

“I’m pleased for Willian because he showed himself to be in good form. For him, this season wasn’t easy for many reasons (Willian’s mother died last October following a battle with cancer) that you know and I don’t want to repeat.

“I must be pleased because I think that in this game I involved all my players in our idea and in our football. This is very important in this part of the season that every single player feels they are part of this project.

“When you work very hard, went you work only with your players every day… don’t forget that for me every single player, I work with him in the same way whether he is in in the starting XI or stays on the bench

“They didn’t play a simple game, you played a semi-final against a team as strong as Tottenham, at Wembley with 80,00 people. I think it’s great for them but also I must be proud for this.”



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