Antonio Conte has put Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater’s poor starts to life at Chelsea down to a lack of time to adapt to life with the Premier League champions.
The Italian tactician has already ruled out the possibility of the Blues defending their league title, with Manchester City 14 points clear of his team after just 16 matches.
Conte has made no secret of his frustration at a lack of new summer arrivals and he has pointed to the failure of recruitment as a key reason why Chelsea are struggling to fight on all fronts.
But he defended new signings Bakayoko and Drinkwater – both of whom saw their starts to life at Stamford Bridge held up due to injuries – and believes they just need more time.
‘I am very happy to work with my players,’ he said of his summer arrivals ahead of the Premier League clash with Huddersfield.
‘It is normal when you are starting to change, to create a base and a fundamental for Chelsea it is normal to must be having patience and working with new players.
‘They need a bit of time to adapt in our idea of football and this league, this is not simple. This season we changed.
‘For many reasons a couple of players, Drinkwater and Bakayoko, they started to work with us very late. The most important thing is to have the will to work every day.’
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