The Antonio Conte era at Chelsea got off to an inauspicious start as the Blues lost 2-0 at Rapid Vienna. Joelinton scored the opening goal in Vienna just eight minutes into the match, before Tomi Correa tapped home from close range late on to seal the win.
The Premier League side were decidedly second best for large parts of the game, but the new Chelsea boss thought that there were positives that he could take from the first preseason match.
“I am very happy because together we are working to improve the squad,” he is quoted as saying by FourFourTwo. “We know we have to improve but we prefer to wait and take the right player, rather than to go for a player with emotion that doesn’t adapt to our idea of football.
“This first game for us, I know it was very difficult after three days of training double every day. The physical aspect, strength aspect – I think it is a bit normal to meet these difficulties in this game but I don’t like to lose and it is the same for my players.
“I think I saw some situations that I saw last season and I think this game is very important because we can learn a lot from this. It’s important to switch our mind to change because the past is not important. The future is important. We must work for our present and our future.”
Conte has just over a week until Chelsea arrive in the USA for three International Champions Cup matches against Liverpool, Real Madrid and AC Milan. It was during the same tour last season that the cracks first appeared at Chelsea. Cracks that ended up costing Jose Mourinho and seeing the defending champions have their worst season in the Roman Abramovich tenure.
The clock is ticking on Conte to get an improvement out of his Chelsea squad before they meet Liverpool on July 27.