Antonio Conte wants Chelsea to use FA Cup momentum in Premier League title chase
By Lyall Thomas at Wembley
Last Updated: 23/04/17 11:24am
Antonio Conte wants Chelsea to use their FA Cup momentum in the Premier League title race but says Tottenham have the advantage of an extra day's rest.
The Blues reached the FA Cup final after a 4-2 victory at Wembley over Spurs, who are just four points behind the league leaders with six games to go.
Chelsea return to league action on Tuesday when Southampton visit Stamford Bridge, live on Sky Sports 1 HD.
Spurs then travel to Crystal Palace live on Sky Sports on Wednesday and Conte questioned why his side have one day less to recover.
Conte said: "We have to try to exploit the momentum. I think this week is crucial for us.
"They have the advantage. We have to play after two days and a half and Tottenham have one day more to rest.
"Sometimes it is difficult to understand this planning of the fixtures but we have to try to answer on the pitch.
"For sure this win is a really important win. They are fighting us for the title. We have to know that, on Tuesday, we play a tough game against a tough team. I want our fans to be the 12th player."
Conte said he rested Eden Hazard and Diego Costa with this busy week in mind, which concludes with Chelsea's clash at Everton and Spurs' north London derby against Arsenal, with both games live on Sky Sports 1 HD.
"When you arrive in this part of the season and you know you have to play three tough games in a week, one to reach the final of the FA Cup against a top team, you must take a strong decision and take the responsibility," Conte added.
"For sure it is not easy to decide to start the game without two really important players as Eden and Diego but I am pleased for Michy Batshuayi because he started a really important game and I am pleased for Willian because this season wasn't easy for him.
"We deserve this victory against a really strong team. I think to see this type of game England must be proud - proud to have this intense football, with this level of players. It was a great thing."