LONDON: Antonio Conte admits Chelsea are going through a “difficult moment” after the Premier League champions crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Crystal Palace.
The loss left Conte’s side nine points adrift of leaders Manchester City and the pain was compounded by a hamstring injury to Victor Moses that will rule the wing-back out of Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Roma.
Moses joins Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante on the sidelines, but Blues boss Conte is hopeful striker Alvaro Morata will be fit to return after sitting out the visit to Palace with a hamstring problem.
Chelsea has lost their last two league games after the Palace setback followed a damaging defeat to Manchester City before the international break.
“I think, in this moment, for us it’s a very difficult moment,” he said.
“When you start a game without Morata and without Kante, it’s not simple. Above all if, during the game, another important player in your team has an injury too like Victor Moses.
“I hope to have him back very soon because this moment is very difficult for us. To lose three or four players, it’s a big problem for us.
“But, despite this, we have to find the will to fight. We want to try and be competitive in all competitions, but it won’t be easy.”
Questions have been raised about the depth of Conte’s squad this season and the Italian added: “I think the situation is very clear and everyone can see that situation.
“I repeat: my job is to be focused on my work with my players, and to try and do our best.
“Now, I repeat, for sure it’s not an easy moment for us. But I think that, in this moment, it’s important to find a solution. Don’t look for excuses. Through work, find a solution.