Chelsea chief Antonio Conte admits it was good fortune rather than tactical genius which led him to make the formation switch that has heralded an amazing Blues run of form.
The Stamford Bridge outfits’ new-look 3-4-3 system paid off once more with another win at Middlesborough in the Premier League on Sunday, their sixth successive victory without conceding a goal, with Diego Costa’s 10th goal of the campaign handing the Londoners a 1-0 victory.
And Conte admitted: “I must be honest because we started our season with different ideas. At the start I wanted to play with 4-2-4 with two forward roles and two wingers”.
“We didn’t find the right balance, I tried to change 4-3-3, to play with midfield more. Then I change to 3-4-3. 3-4-3 was an alternative with 4-2-4″.
“When we prepared for the season, the club knew my idea and the first idea was 4-2-4, the second idea was 3-4-3. I knew that 4-2-4 was perfect for these players”.
“But the message was very clear. When you you see that every game you concede goals and many chances to score other goals, it means you have to change something”.
“For this reason I changed it. I try to give more balance offensively and defensively. This happened. Also because I see that the players enjoy this type of football, this system. Every single player has his quality in this system”.
Meanwhile Thibaut Courtois says the win in the north east was deserved after a fight to earn the points.
He said: “We’re obviously very pleased. Our aim was to win, it was a tough game and we knew it would be. The only regret is that we didn’t score the second goal because we had chances”.
“Middlesbrough had one good chance when Traore shot over but we defended well as a team so that was good”.