19 Sep Hazard backs Conte
Eden Hazard is confident Antonio Conte will inspire Chelsea to recover from their first defeat of the season when they visit Leicester on Tuesday.
The EFL Cup third-round fixture is their first since a 2-1 loss at home to Liverpool on Friday condemned Conte to his first competitive defeat since his appointment as the club’s manager.
Hazard appears rejuvenated under the Italian, and after a disappointing 2015-16 season he believes Conte’s communication and motivation skills are key.
“He’s a top guy, he tries to speak a lot with the players, to talk a lot, and we are pleased to work with him,” the 25-year-old told Chelsea TV.
“He has the passion to do his job. He gives everything on the bench and we try to give everything on the pitch.
“He’s a top manager, he’s a top man.
“During games I try to stay focused, but sometimes when I watch the game the day after (on television) I see him. He’s a little bit crazy sometimes on the bench.”
Conte’s arrival has also led to a resurgence in the form of Diego Costa and was followed by the summer recruitment of David Luiz and Michy Batshuayi, among others.
Ankle and anterior cruciate ligament injuries to John Terry and Kurt Zouma mean Luiz is likely to retain his place after making his first appearance back at the club against Liverpool.
Hazard is as optimistic about his potential contribution as he is about what Costa has already provided and the progress Batshuayi is making.
“Everybody is happy to see (Luiz) back,” he said. “On the pitch he is a warrior. He brings that mentality. He wants to win everything. This is what we need.
“Diego is (also) a top player, he is on the pitch to score goals, he has the desire to score a goal every game and it’s always good to play with him. He’s sharp.
“(Batshuayi) is learning a lot. He is trying to speak English. I am helping him. I don’t know if I am a good teacher but I try. He gives everything on the pitch and in training. In him and Diego we have two very good strikers.
“Sometimes we play with one, sometimes with two. It’s difficult for him to sometimes be on the bench but he is still young, he has a lot to do with Chelsea and I hope he will score a lot of goals.”