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Antonio Conte lauds Chelsea supporters and players, looks forward to 'big test' against Manchester City

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The biggest test!

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Excluding last season, Stamford Bridge has long been known as a fortress for Chelsea. Tottenham are more aware of this than any other team, their winless streak at the Bridge now extending to almost 27 years and 30 games.

One of the driving forces behind this impressive streak is of course the home crowd, who usually don't need too much encouragement to get up for the visit of Spurs.  Conte has at times urged the fans to make more noise, but he was more than happy with the support on Saturday.

"On Saturday our fans were very important. They pushed us and supported us a lot during the game. We knew the importance of the game for our fans. It was a special game, we haven’t lost it for over 25 years, I know this, and Tottenham were unbeaten. After this game I can say they deserved to arrive before it unbeaten, they’ve shown they are a great team."

"It’s important for our fans to live the game with great intensity and passion because they can transfer this to the players. Stamford Bridge is perfect if we are able to create the right atmosphere, it’s really important for us."

Signicantly fewer Chelsea fans will get to witness Chelsea's next game on Saturday, away to Premier League title-favorites Manchester City.  It will be up to the away contingent in their usual loud splendor to cheer and urge the team on in the toughest test of the season yet.

"It’s a big test because Man City are a fantastic team, but Saturday was a good test for us. Now we are a different team to two months ago. It would have been very difficult to win the Tottenham game if we were the same team as two months ago."

"I love the mentality of my players, I saw a great attitude and great commitment from all of them. I see the will to change something from the past, now it’s important to continue."

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

There's certainly a chance here for a massive statement of intent from Chelsea as far as our title aspirations are concerned, but as Courtois reminded earlier, it's far too early to decide such things just on one game, even if it is a clash of massive proportions.

Whether Chelsea win, lose, or draw, the team's doing far better than anyone could've expected even two months ago.  And that's the most important part.