THIBAUT COURTOIS has praised Chelsea boss Antonio Conte for the influence he has had at Stamford Bridge since taking over in the summer.
The Blues are currently top of the Premier League after winning their last seven top flight matches.
And the goalkeeper believes Conte’s expectations when it comes to preparation for every game have proven to be the difference.
Courtois told Sky Sports: “Conte does more tactics and videos but you can see in the games that it’s really useful for us.
“OK, it’s not always what the player wants to do in training – a lot of players want to shoot, play little games and have fun – but you have to do what’s necessary too.
“You have to do the tactics to win games because if you have good organisation and know what to do, you’ll know where the weaknesses are in the opponent.
“We’ve been doing tactics since the summer. Players need time to get used to a whole new way of working.
“We want to play in Europe. Everyone does. But maybe with the new system and the need to get used to a new way of working, the extra time helps as well.
“If you have a game at the weekend you can work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to do everything more.”
Courtois is in no doubt as to why Chelsea have turned around their form after a defeat to Arsenal in September.
“I think it’s the system,” he added. “It not only gives cover for the goalkeeper, in general it’s a good system.
“When one guy can drop down and you can still have four at the back, when one guy can put pressure high up and you still have a solid shape that’s quite good.
“We’ve played it a few times with Belgium now too and it’s a system that’s very hard to play against. In the summer we were working on another system.
“It was after the Arsenal game that we decided to go to three at the back. Since then we have trained it constantly.”
The Belgian keeper also explained why the 3-4-3 formation has benefitted Chelsea this campaign.
“With a three you can put two in the middle, two wide and have your wing-backs open,” he explained.
“If the opposition full-backs close them they risk leaving the winger alone. Then I can maybe go to the winger. So it’s hard for a team to really put you under pressure high.”
Chelsea return to action tomorrow lunchtime against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.