Antonio Conte says he ‘forced’ Olivier Giroud to play against West Brom and allays injury fears

Antonio Conte 'forced' injured Chelsea star to play against West Brom
The fiery Italian boss did not want to play without a target man up top (Picture: Getty)

Antonio Conte has revealed that he forced Olivier Giroud to play despite a slight knock as Chelsea overcame West Brom on Monday night to ease the pressure on their manager.

The Blues finally got back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford, with Eden Hazard notching a brace either side of a Victor Moses goal to secure a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Giroud, making his full Chelsea debut, was involved in the first goal and Conte was happy with his performance – and the options he now has in attack.

Antonio Conte 'forced' injured Chelsea star to play against West Brom
Giroud’s deft flick created Hazard’s opening goal to setup the victory (Picture: Getty)

He told Sky Sports: ‘I think we forced Giroud to play, also because with [Alvaro] Morata injured I think that it was very important to have a point of reference in him.

‘I think for us he could become an important player. At the same time I had a good answer from Alvaro, for this reason I think we must be happy. To have two player, two strikers, in contention, is very important.’

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Giroud only lasted an hour, coming off the pitch with heavy bandaging around his head, though Conte confirmed the Frenchman would be available to take on Hull City in the FA Cup on Friday.

Morata also made his long awaited return to the Chelsea side, having been sidelined with a back problem, and Conte was happy with his lively cameo off the bench.

Antonio Conte 'forced' injured Chelsea star to play against West Brom
Conte withdrew Giroud on the hour mark and says he is fine to face Hull (Picture: Getty)

Asked if it was good to see him back, Conte continued: ‘Yes but we must pay great attention, we spent one month to try to solve the pain in his back.

‘Now I think we are in the right way. For sure he has to find the best physical condition, but we must be happy because to have the opportunity during the game to have two strikers, with Morata and Giroud, is very important.’

More: Chelsea FC

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