ANTONIO CONTE says Cesc Fabregas did not deserve to start for Chelsea last season but now he’s delighted with his star Spaniard.
Fabregas endured a stop-start campaign last term and was heavily linked with leaving the Blues over the summer.
But the midfielder stayed put in west London and has enjoyed a fine run of form this season.
Ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Liverpool tomorrow, Conte said: “Last season maybe he didn’t deserve to start, but now he deserves to play regularly.
“At the same time I understand he needs a bit of rest because he is playing every game.
“Now I have four midfielders in good form and for sure I need to have rotation.
“I am very happy because Cesc is showing great commitment in two faces, with the ball and without the ball.
“Also, when we play with three midfielders, he is more free offensively.”
Conte’s Chelsea beat Qarabag 4-0 on Wednesday and have had to complete a 5,000-mile round trip for that Champions League clash.
Despite their tiring week, Conte insists they will not use that as an excuse against Liverpool.
He said: “Today we had a good training session.
“We tried to prepare for the game very well, but to have only one day to prepare for a big game, and especially to have only one day to rest, is not right, not only for Chelsea, but for all the teams.
“This was an intense week for us. At the same time, it’s right to not find an alibi, or excuses, and to try and play a good game against a really strong team.
“This week was a strange week but we must be focused on a big game. We want to play well and have a good result.”