Eden Hazard: I always knew Chelsea could be champions under Antonio Conte

Eden Hazard explains why confidence was always high in the Chelsea camp this season

Eden Hazard has insisted that Chelsea’s players always knew that they were capable of winning the Premier League title under Antonio Conte this season.

The Blues struggled to produce consistent performances last season as they slumped to a 10th-placed finish following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December 2015.

That miserable end to the campaign was in stark contrast to their form the season before, when the west London side won the Premier League and League Cup under Mourinho.

Conte has had an instant impact since taking over at Stamford Bridge and has watched his team build a nine-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Chelsea can extend their lead at the top to 12 points if they beat Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon.

And Hazard has lifted the lid on what the attitude at Cobham was like before the start of the new season under Conte.

Hazard is quoted as saying by The Daily Star: “At the start of the season everyone was thinking, ‘Chelsea are a good team with a new manager in Antonio Conte but I don’t know if they can contend for the title’.

“But within the team, we know each other and we knew we were ready to win.

“Maybe outside, people saw it differently. I think most people were thinking that Chelsea could be top four but not champions.

Now, though, we are top of the league, so we just want to stay there. We are motivated by being in a good position, but also because last season was very bad.

“So we want to be there again, to be at the top again, for the fans. This is why we are top now.”

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