Chelsea’s Brazilian winger has admitted that Antonio Conte gives the players very little rest despite the lack of European obligations.

In a recent interview, Chelsea attacker Willian has iterated manager Antonio Conte’s importance to training sessions. The Brazilian admitted that the former Italy head-coach gives the players very little rest, despite the fact that they are not competing for continental glory this season.

He said “It’s intense. He likes to work. We train hard. Sometimes it’s two hours of intense training. We have a whole week to train so there’s more training. There’s no rest. Sometimes he gives us one day.”

However, Willian also stated that Conte has the backing of the players and that the entire squad is willing to go the extra mile to achieve success for the club, and wash away the memories of the torrid 2015/16 campaign.

“But we like the way we train and we trust the manager. But we miss the Champions League. To play Champions League is good and that’s why we are working hard this season to get back. If we trust in our team-mates then we have a great chance to win the title this season,” added the 28-year-old.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #630134946 with alternate crop.) Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea (C) celebrates his sides win after the game during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on December 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 17: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea (C) celebrates his sides win after the game during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on December 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo Courtesy: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Conte took over the reins from interim boss Guus Hiddink in the off-season and has done a phenomenal job to turn around the fortunes for the London outfit. In their title defending season of 2015/16, Chelsea seemed to have lost the plot and parted ways with manager Jose Mourinho as his side found themselves languishing in the wrong end of the table.

The Italian has not only changed the system at the club, but there has also been a drastic improvement in the mentality of the players. Eden Hazard, a peripheral figure last season at Stamford Bridge, has been central to making the team tick under the tutelage of Conte.

Due to the Italian’s change in system from the traditional 4-2-3-1 to a rather unconventional 3-4-3, Willian has failed to start week in and week out for the Blues. Victor Moses has been used as a wing-back, while Pedro has become a regular inside forward down the right flank for Chelsea.

However, Chelsea are managing to reap results with minimal tinkering and that is something that Willian and his teammates must be happy about. Due to Conte’s added training sessions, the Blues players are always active and are also constantly working on themselves.

Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on December 11, 2016. Chelsea won the game 1-0. / AFP / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Willian runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on December 11, 2016.
Chelsea won the game 1-0. (Photo Courtesy: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The lack of Champions League football is in fact, a blessing in disguise. Conte now has added time for focusing on individuals and mould them into better players by bringing the best out of them. Rather than building up for a regular European matchday, the squad is working on bettering themselves.

It also eliminates the traveling concern. Most of the top Premier League sides lose an entire day in traveling post an European obligation, and their entire schedule is disrupted, which in turn affects their performances on the field.

Conte has thus, in a very pragmatic fashion, decided to use that added time to his advantage, and help his players hit the potential they never thought existed in them. Top marks to the Italian’s man-management skills!

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