Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has bemoaned the current injury crisis facing his side, pinpointing it as a crucial factor in their shock 2-1 Premier League loss to Crystal Palace. The Blues began the game without star players N'Golo Kanté and Álvaro Morata, and saw wing-back Victor Moses also succumb to injury during the loss to Roy Hodgson's side.
Speaking in the wake of the surprise defeat, via Sky Sports, Conte expressed his frustration with the injury problems facing his already slender squad, as well as the performance which lead to Crystal Palace claiming their first Premier League points of the season. Conte claimed:
"To play this game without three important players, it is not simple. Today wasn't simple. I think we started very badly and it was very difficult.
"Also we need to understand the situation and to continue to work to find the right solution despite the injuries. They are big losses for us but we have to accept the situation and try to do our best. We have to prepare for the next game against Roma in the Champions League. We have to check all the players and then to try to do our best."
Following the Blues' opening day defeat to Burnley, many pundits tipped the Blues to struggle this season due to their comparatively small squad. Their following fine run of form arguably papered over the cracks, which have been exposed again by three key injuries to the spine of the squad. Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Conte claimed:
"We have to go game by game. This season will be very difficult in all aspects.
"We must be focused game by game and try to do our best. At the end of the season we will see what happened.
"It is important for us to understand we are trying to build something important for the future. We have changed a lot. The only words I know in these circumstances are 'to work'. Work, work, work. It's a verb."
Chelsea will now look ahead to their midweek Champions League match against Roma, which is set to be an enthralling battle between two strong European sides.