Antonio Conte made several changes to Chelsea's starting line-up for Sunday’s FA Cup third round match against League One Peterborough United, with Gary Cahill and attacker-turned-wingback Pedro the only starters remaining from the lineup on Wednesday against Spurs.
The nine newcomers, a mixture of youngsters and backups, and of course two-goal Pedro and steady Cahill repaid Conte’s faith with an impressive display, as Chelsea dominated in a 4-1 victory.
"I am pleased with our performance and the result and because we can go into the next round in this competition. Today we changed nine players because I think in this game I could take the opportunity to see some players that, in this period, are not playing a lot. I saw a lot of positive situations."
"I think we faced a good team, but today we showed big commitment and we showed how to be a team. We won as a team and this is the most important thing because when you change nine players, it is not easy to find your ideal football quickly."
"But it happened and I am pleased for the players, I am pleased for me and for our work. Now it is important to continue with many good answers."
New solutions and new answers have been dominating the news, with Chelsea’s winning streak coming to an end on Wednesday and the January transfer season starting to pick up steam. With regards to transfers this month, Conte continued to provide his usual themes about right players and being happy to be working with the current squad.
"I continue to repeat that in January, it is not easy because in this window, it is very difficult to find great players. We stay on top of the table with this squad and I am grateful for my players for this."
"January is very difficult to find opportunities. If we find these to improve out teams, we will do this and the club know my ideas on this. I am very pleased to work with this team and this players. We will fight until the end to take the best this season."
-Antonio Conte; source: Sky Sports
With the backups and youngsters proving more than capable in this one, and Nathan Aké coming back from loan, plus the possibility of retaining Kenedy and Charly Musonda as well, Chelsea’s depth issues could be largely answered without needing to dip into the transfer market. There’s no need to be panic-buying or overspending on anyone.