Antonio Conte has hailed his Chelsea players for rediscovering the “fire in their eyes” after substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a 3-2 comeback victory at Southampton.
“I must be honest — I was very angry for our first half, because we didn’t show great desire, great will to fight, great will to play in the right way,” Conte said.
“After the first half I was very disappointed, but I’m the first to take responsibility, because I’m the coach of this team. If they decide we can’t fight in the right way, I’m the first person to take responsibility.
“In the second half we showed great character, great reaction, great desire to win the game. We showed the right fire in our eyes.
“We must be pleased for the second half. For me it’s not important to win, lose or draw the game. The most important thing is to always play with a great intensity, with a great will to fight from the start until the end.
“We are having a difficult season and we know this, but especially in this situation I think you can see the men before the players.”
Giroud was the star of Chelsea’s comeback, providing clinical finishes for their first and third goals and helping to create the equaliser for Hazard.
“I’m very happy for him,” Conte added when asked about the former Arsenal man’s performance.
“We changed something in the second half but the difference was the approach, the desire, the will to fight to try not to lose another game.
“We have two strikers. Olivier came to Chelsea in January after a bad muscular problem. Now he’s in good fitness.
“I try to make the best decision for the team. Don’t forget that Morata scored against Leicester and against Tottenham. I have two good strikers and I try to make the best decision at the start of the game or during the game.”