Conte urges Chelsea to carry aggression into new season
(Reuters) - New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has urged his players to retain the aggressiveness they have shown during the pre-season, saying that the combative nature of the game was essential to the style of play he is looking to impose at the club.
Six players were booked, while midfielder Cesc Fabregas was shown a red card, in Chelsea's feisty 1-0 victory over Liverpool on Thursday after Gary Cahill's early header condemned the Merseyside club to their first pre-season defeat.
Fabregas will now be suspended for Chelsea's friendly clash against Champions League winners Real Madrid on Saturday but Conte was not ready to criticise the Spaniard.
"I like my teams to be aggressive and I like if my team plays with great aggression and high intensity. We train to prepare for that because I want that my team has an identity," Conte told British media.
"I always gave an identity to my teams. I am searching to transfer this to my players. I am pleased because I see a great attitude. I want to continue in this way because this is the only way to come back very soon for the title.
"Not to speak, but actions. Now is not the moment to talk."
Conte has already strengthened his squad with two major signings in striker Michy Batshuayi and midfielder N'Golo Kante.
The former Italy and Juventus coach will begin his tenure in England with a London derby against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on Aug. 15.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)