Thibaut Courtois praises Chelsea's late show - Credit's gruelling pre-season under Antonio Conte.

Thibaut Courtois has hailed Antonio Conte's gruelling pre-season this summer as the reason for Chelsea's two Premier League vict...

Thibaut Courtois has hailed Antonio Conte's gruelling pre-season this summer as the reason for Chelsea's two Premier League victories so far this season against West Ham and Watford. Both won by late goals.

All we heard last season was that Chelsea "looked off the pace", "sluggish" and "a yard off everyone else" after Jose Mourinho made the decision to start our pre-season two weeks behind our rivals. He stated that it was because Chelsea faded in the second part of our title winning season and he wanted to ensure that a repeat performance didn't happen again. We all know what happened as a result!

So to this season and the Manager has come in with fresh ideas and with an intention to work his players harder than most. With two victories out of two games and both with late goals to seal the victory, Thibaut Courtois said:

"We did a lot of physical work in preseason and it means the players are ready to fight to the last minute for victories.

In the Watford game and West Ham match as well, maybe we were able to run more at a high intensity until the end of the game.

It’s important to be able to do that in the Premier League. It is an extra quality to have. You see at the end of matches that teams have gaps because they can’t cope with all the running. But we can cope – that is good.

To win games late like we have done twice now is an asset to have. Obviously we hope to win games more easily, but when you win matches like this it tastes very good.

It also usually means you are at the top of the table. I’m not saying we are going to be champions yet, but these victories mean that you can be there fighting for the title.

If you want to win the league, it starts with winning difficult games like we did at Watford. We showed some great character.”

It's still early in the season but it looks like we are fitter, sharper and decidedly up for the games this season.

What do you think?

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