Last season when Chelsea stamped their authority in the Premier League one of the biggest weapons for their manager was the midfield duo of Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante. But the Blues management somehow decided to sell off the Serbian during the summer transfer window – and that too to rivals Manchester United. And this caused a major headache for Antonio Conte.

Now though, while speaking before the Chelsea vs Atletico clash, the Italian has revealed that he is grateful to Cesc Fabregas for stepping up the plate in the absence of Nemanja Matic and in turn saving his job at the club.

Fabregas was in no ways the first choice midfielder for Conte last season but since then the Spanish has grown into his role – so much so that nowadays he is one of the first names in the Italian’s teamsheet.

While speaking to the media, Conte said,”He didn’t play a lot, but through his work, he changed my mind. It happened,”

Fabregas also revealed that the manager’s trust and faith in him has sort of grown with time and was in ways an overnight incident.

You must adapt and be always ready in training,” Fabregas told the media.

“Physically…I wouldn’t say better than ever, but in the last few years, I feel the fitness.

“I had to adapt myself especially defensively. It’s not my biggest strength.Last season the boss might not have trusted me to play in a 3-4-3 but he does now.I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried – maybe worried is not the right word. I wasn’t part of his initial plans.

“You can give up or put your head down, be humble and work hard and show him he is wrong.”

Read: Should Drinkwater be the preferred partner to Kante in midfield?

Read: Chelsea fans urge their manager to give more playing time to this summer signing.

Read: Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid: Match preview

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