Antonio Conte struggles to find fault with N'Golo Kante as Chelsea coach prepares for title run-in 'pressure'

Vaishali Bhardwaj
West Ham United via Getty Images

Antonio Conte was full of praise for N'Golo Kante following Chelsea's 2-1 London derby win over West Ham on Monday night, joking he is yet to find a fault with the midfielder.

Kante put in another assured showing in the game at London Stadium, and proved crucial in the 25th minute when he dispossessed Robert Snodgrass to set Eden Hazard on his way to the opening goal.

Conte said after the victory in east London that the France international - who won the Premier League title with Leicester last season - is a great player, but admitted he is still trying to improve his game.

When asked about Kante, Conte said: "I knew he made 50 passes and he made five mistakes. He has to improve in this!

(West Ham United via Getty Images)

"I'm joking, but I have to find one situation to tell him to improve. He's really good. He has great stamina but also good quality.

"We are working to improve the quality. He's playing really well but all my players performed well."

The victory takes Chelsea back 10 points clear of Tottenham and 11 ahead of Manchester City, although Pep Guardiola's side can cut that down to eight should they win their game in hand against Stoke on Wednesday.

Conte admitted his players must now hold their nerve if they are to keep their lead in tact as they look to secure the title they last won in 2015, saying: "This period has started. Eleven games are a lot.

"Now it's important to handle the pressure in the right way. They show me great will to win the game.

(Getty Images)

"It's better to score more sometimes, but I'm happy because it was a tough game.

"It's not easy to play after your opponents have played. You know that if you drop points you give hope to them.

"Our answer was very good and I'm pleased for my players. Our central defenders did well against the long balls to [Andy] Carroll.

"Until now we deserve to be top, and now we stay we must continue. It won't be easy because Tottenham, City and Liverpool won.

"But it won't be easy. And we know this."