Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has introduced open discussions during post-match analysis sessions, giving players a chance to air their views in the aftermath of games.
Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek told Metro.co.uk that the sessions had been one of the most notable changes installed by the Italian coach since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
‘A real benefit that we do differently [since Conte’s arrival] is that we sit down and analyse the games. I think that helps. As a team we’ll analyse the game, good stuff and bad stuff, which I think helps massively. That’s one thing that he’s brought in that I think everyone’s impressed about.’
‘The manager likes to implement his ideas and we’re trying to do that to the best of our ability. I know sometimes it takes a while to get used to them but I’m sure we will because we’re working hard on the training pitch and whatever formation the manager asks us to play we’ll play. It always benefits, if we need to switch formation in the game, if we need to chase the game we can switch so it’s all the better.’
Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures
Sat 15 Oct: Chelsea v Leicester
Sun 23 Oct: Chelsea v Man Utd
Wed 26 Oct: West Ham v Chelsea (EFL Cup)
Sun 30 Oct: Southampton v Chelsea
Sat 5 Nov: Chelsea v Everton
On a personal level for Loftus-Cheek there has also been change. Upon Conte’s arrival the former Juventus coach quickly saw in the England Under-21 international the attributes that could see the player shift from midfield to attack and wasted little time trying it out by using Loftus-Cheek in an advanced role in pre-season.
‘At first it was a bit strange but I think I adapted quite quick,’ the Chelsea player told Metro.co.uk.
‘I had never played striker before he came. He said to me I think striker kind of suits you because I’m strong and I’m fast and I’m good technically so he said it might suit so he asked me to try it and if I’m playing I’m going to take that. Even though I do enjoy playing midfield more, if that’s where the manager wants me to play I’ll play it.’
Loftus-Cheek has made just two appearances this term, both in the EFL Cup, but is determined to increase that number.
‘Right now for me it’s just game time on the pitch that I need. I’m working hard on the training pitch and trying to give the manager confidence to play me more. And I think the more game time I get the more I will improve.’
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While he has refused to set himself any personal targets, he says the club must aim for the Premier League title this season.
‘I think the manager said we want to win titles and I think being at Chelsea, it’s a massive club so I think that has to be the aim, to win titles. And that’s what we want to do, that’s why we’re on the training pitch every day working, trying to improve what we need to improve. I think everyone in the team thinks we can.’