Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted that his team must now 'dig very deep' if they are to seriously challenge for silverware this season, after a humbling Champions League defeat on Tuesday night and ahead of a huge Premier League clash on Sunday.
After a mixed season so far and various media reports of growing tension and unease, the reigning English champions were soundly beaten 3-0 by Roma in Italy and are now set to face a Manchester United side that has recently returned to winning ways.
And Conte is fully aware that the challenges that lie ahead over the course of the next few days, weeks, and season as a whole, are not going to become any easier.
"I don't know what will happen on Sunday against Manchester United - I know they are a really good team," Conte is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
"For sure, we have to try to find the strength to understand and to use this loss (against Roma) in the right way. As I said before, in this season we have to dig very deep, very deep, if we want to be competitive and to fight for something important," he added.
The Italian coach went as far as warning that the same thing that happened against Roma will happen against United at Stamford Bridge if Chelsea are not suitably prepared and focused.
"If we are not ready to dig deep, we can have this type of game. We have to know this. Because, I repeat, this season will be very difficult if we don't understand quickly the right way that we have to go," he explained.