No excuses for Conte

13 August 2017 04:05:50 EST

Antonio Conte refused to suggest a lack of new signings this summer played a part in Chelsea's opening day 3-2 home defeat against Burnley.

The Blues boss has brought in midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, striker Alvaro Morata, defender Antonio Rudiger and former Manchester City keeper Willy Caballero to cover for the respective departures of Nemanja Matic, John Terry and Asmir Begovic, while striker Diego Costa has been told he can leave.

I repeat: It is important for us to concentrate on our work, to be focused every day in training and to try to work in our best way. No excuses.

Antonio Conte

However, Nathen Ake has also been sold to Bournemouth and Kurt Zouma has joined Stoke on a season-long loan so the squad number is lower with the added pressure of Champions League football in addition to their domestic commitments this season.

And their Premier League title defence got off to a disastrous start on Saturday as Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas were both sent off against the Clarets.

Burnley led 3-0 at the break courtesy of two goals from Sam Vokes and a Stephen Ward strike, before Morata and David Luiz got Chelsea back into the contest late on, but they could not find an equaliser with nine men.

Afterwards, Conte, who is without injured trio, Pedro, Eden Hazard and new boy Bakayoko, was not making any excuses for the defeat.

"The club are trying to do their best," he said.

"I am not worried, I am ready to fight with these players.

"I repeat: It is important for us to concentrate on our work, to be focused every day in training and to try to work in our best way. No excuses."

On the game itself, Conte added: "The red card [for Cahill] was the key moment.

"We started well with good intensity and were dominating the game. Then the game changed. We lost our heads too easily and we need to reflect on this situation.

"If we are able to stay in the game, then anything can happen in the second half, but instead we conceded three goals. In the second half, my players showed great will to try to change the result."

Chelsea are 14/1 to defend their Premier League title, while Manchester City are 2/5 and Manchester United can be backed at 4/1.

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