Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte insists he is fully focused on Chelsea’s title push now the transfer window has slammed shut.
On a good night for the Premier League leaders a 1-1 draw at Liverpool saw them extend their advantage to nine points after Arsenal lost to Watford and Tottenham were held to a goalless draw by struggling Sunderland.
The transfer window may still be open in China, clubs from which were linked with a move for striker Diego Costa, but with the European market now off limits Conte is confident his side can concentrate on consolidating their position.
“We have the same players that we play with at the start of the season, we haven’t changed and I am very happy,” he said.
“The transfer window has closed and now we can keep them in this second part of the season.
“I am happy to work with my players.
“Our market is finished – not buying or selling and I am pleased because now we have a squad and it is important to be focused and concentrated for the second part of the season because this is the part to win the title or a place in the Champions League.”
Chelsea could have left Anfield with all three points after Costa’s penalty was saved by Simon Mignolet, who had been embarrassed by David Luiz’s quickly-taken first-half free-kick which was then cancelled out by Georginio Wijnaldum’s header.
Nevertheless, Conte was happy with a draw.
“It is not easy to play against Liverpool in this moment after three defeats. It is not easy to play in this atmosphere,” he added.
“I am very proud of my players for the personality they showed. It is a good point, for sure.
“When you have a good chance with a penalty in the 76th minute then you think you could win and take three points but Mignolet made a great save.
“It wasn’t easy to play with the same intensity of Liverpool so we must be pleased.
“I am pleased for the performance of all the players.”