Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is eager to see his team respond from Tuesday night’s 3-0 Champions League defeat to Roma.
Speaking ahead of Monday morning’s match with Manchester United, Conte has called for his players to show character through a time of adversity.
“We are struggling a lot, because we are facing a lot of important problems,” Conte said.
“To solve these problems is not simple. In this moment you can see it you are a winner or a loser.“
“It’s important to show character, to be strong, to face the problem in the right way.”
Conte said he will try to transfer his suffering to the players in the quest of turning the Blues fortunes around.
“I try to transfer my suffering to my players. Sometimes I am able to do this, to have a good answer.”
The Blues sit nine points behind top of the table Manchester City in the Premier League and defeat to Manchester United this weekend will make defending their championship all the more difficult.
But Conte insists he is happy with the commitment of his players.
“I’m happy to work with my players. The commitment is always good but this season we are struggling a lot because we are facing a lot of problems and resolving these problems is not simple.”
The Blues will host a Manchester United team that includes former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and former player Nemanja Matic.
Last year Mourinho criticised Conte for trying to humiliate him, after Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over the Red Devils.
Conte refused to add to the animosity when asked about his relationship with Mourinho.
“It’s not important, the relationship between the coaches. We have to respect the job of the other coaches.”
“He’s an opponent and I’m an opponent for him. After the game it will be the same.”
Conte will be hoping for the return of midfielder N’golo Kante for the weekends match.
Kante has been sidelined for six matches in all competitions since picking up a hamstring injury on national duty in early October.
Conte said Kante is “progressing well”, but will not risk the midfielder if there is any chance of reinjuring his hamstring.