Antonio Conte Angered By Chelsea’s Lack of Desire in First Half

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admits he was angered and disappointed by his side’s lack of “desire” and “will to fight” in the first half, but also pleased by their reaction in the second half. Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea fell behind 2-0 to Southampton, a very proud club that is having an awful season, and in serious peril of being relegated.

The Blues got a double from striker Olivier Giroud, who moved from rival Arsenal in January, and essentially completed the final phase of his move to Stamford Bridge today. Chelsea got a third goal from Eden Hazard, and went on to win 3-2. They still remain all but eliminated from the top four race, but at least they showed signs of a team, in the second half at least, fighting for something substantial.

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“In every moment of the game you must think positive despite the result. I was very angry for our first half,” Conte said.

“We didn’t show great desire and great will to fight. I was very disappointed. In the second half we showed great character and a great reaction. We showed the right fire in our eyes.”

“We must be pleased for the second half. It’s not important to win, lose or draw. The important thing is to play with a great intensity and fight from the beginning until the end.”

Chelsea are seven points behind rival Tottenham Hotspur for fourth, who have a game in hand on them. Southampton are in 18th, still three points from safety. The two clubs will meet again eight days from now at Wembley Stadium in a FA Cup semifinal.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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