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Conte hopes record run sparks title glory

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Chelsea’s head coach Antonio Conte (2R) shakes hands with Chelsea’s defender Gary Cahill (R) at the end of the English Premier League football match against December 26, 2016 © AFP / Ben STANSALL

London, United Kingdom, Dec 27Antonio Conte has challenged his Chelsea stars to use their club record run of 12 successive victories as the foundation to win the Premier League title.

Conte’s side moved seven points clear at the top after a 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Monday and they are now just two more victories away from equalling Arsenal’s Premier League record of 14 consecutive wins.

Should the Blues defeat Stoke and Tottenham in their next two games, they will have earned a significant statistical landmark.

But it is trophies that matter most to former Juventus and Italy boss Conte and he has set his sights on leading Chelsea to the Premier League crown they last won in May 2015.

“I prefer to win the title than the record,” Conte told Chelsea TV.

“Records are important, but not all. It’s important to write history only when you win.

“To be in the history of the club and to win 12 games in a row is fantastic. But with the players we want to continue.”

Bournemouth switched to three at the back to try to match the Chelsea formation that has proved such a success since Conte first deployed it earlier this season.

But Conte’s men still proved too strong and the Italian views teams changing tactics as a mark of respect.

It is a nice problem for Conte to have, and one that is familiar after his time at Juventus, who won 33 of 38 games under him in 2013-14.

“After 12 wins in a row, every team who play against Chelsea try also to change their formation. It happened also in Italy when I was manager of Juventus,” Conte said.

“We must be prepared for the formation of our opponent (to change). I think this means great respect for us.”

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