Antonio Conte insists winning the title won’t be easy, but has backed his Chelsea players to handle the pressure of leading the race.
The Blues passed their latest test with a 2-1 victory at London rivals West Ham to re-establish their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Eden Hazard opened the scoring in the first half and Diego Costa hit the second after half-time to put them in control.
Manuel Lanzini hit a stoppage-time consolation for West Ham but it was too late to halt Chelsea’s seemingly unstoppable charge towards reclaiming the crown.
And after nearest challengers Tottenham and Manchester City both won at the weekend, Blues boss Conte was delighted to see his players hold their nerve.
“I’m pleased for my players, it’s not easy to play after your opponents played and won,” he said.
“It’s not easy because if you don’t win you give hope to them. We played with pressure, but our answer was very good.
“I must have confidence in this. I think until now we deserve to stay on top of the table, now it’s important to keep this position.
“It won’t be easy. I think this league will be very tough until the end.
“I think in this period there are ‘only’ 11 games left, but that’s a lot for me.”