Antonio Conte is preparing his Chelsea stars for a merry old time at the top of the Premier League over the festive period.
The league leaders go into the Christmas campaign in sublime form and looking unlikely to stop in their relentless chase for glory, which has seen them win 11 games on the spin.
And Stamford Bridge manager Conte says he is looking forward to the upcoming busy festive period, during which the Blues host Bournemouth on Boxing Day and then welcome Stoke City on New Year’s Eve.
Then Conte’s charges travel then short distance to face in-form Tottenham at White Hart Lane on January 4.
Former Italy coach Conte says leading the pack as opposed to being in the chasing group is the perfect way to maintain momentum as the Blues bid to remain front runners for the top flight crown during his first Christmas with the club.
“I don’t trust people who say it’s important to stay behind and to not have pressure in this position. I prefer to have good pressure and stay at the top of the table. We earned this position and now it’s important to keep this position. It won’t be easy.”
“To arrive at Christmas and open the newspaper and see you are top of the table is fantastic. If you asked me this before, I must be honest, it was a bit difficult to trust to be top of the table at Christmas, but the players deserve this.”
“In my experience you can only keep this position through hard work and by facing every game with great concentration, with great focus, and with a great will to fight and win the game.”
Chelsea take break from league action after the run of three fixtures when they host Peterborough in the Fa Cup third round on January 8.