Abramovich ‘sympathetic’ with Conte, unhappy with players

Date published: Tuesday 27th September 2016 10:16

Roman Abramovich is willing to give Antonio Conte time to improve Chelsea but could conduct a squad overhaul in January, according to reports.

Chelsea have picked up only one point in their last three Premier League matches, and were comprehensively outplayed in defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal.

Despite quickly losing patience with managers in the past, Abramovich is “sympathetic” with former Italy boss Conte, according to The Times.

The Blues owner is understood to have spent several hours at the club’s Cobham training base on Monday, holding informal talks with Conte – who was named among our losers this weekend – and made the point of watching an entire training session.

The Russian did not speak to any players and chose not to hold any form of crisis meeting, as he has done after poor results in the past.

Abramovich understands Conte’s frustrations at the club’s transfer business in the summer, with only N’Golo Kante arriving out of the manager’s initial¬†targets.

After making 11 managerial changes in 13 years, there is now a sense at the club that the players should be held accountable for their poor performances since lifting the title under Jose Mourinho in 2014/15.

Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic have been singled out for criticism, although Conte believes the whole team need to take responsibility for the club’s poor defending, with Eden Hazard recently trying to shift the blame.

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