London: Chelsea midfielder NGolo Kante says the secret of his strong partnership with fellow midfielder Nimanja Matic boils down to hard work done during training for the London football giants.
Chelsea, playing with a 3-4-3 formation under head coach Antonio Conte, are second in the English premier League (EPL) table with 25 points from 11 matches.
And Frenchman Kante’s partnership with Serb Matic in the midfield has flourished, with both players possessing the ability to win the ball back once possession is lost, as well as offering a threat in the attacking third.
“Chelsea have many very good midfielders, but most of the time I play with Matic and, yes, he’s a good player. In training we have done a lot of work together, so in the game we can understand each other,” Kante told his club Chelsea’s magazine.
“When he goes forward, I stay back. When I go forward, he stays back. When you play together, it’s good to understand each other and I think it is a good partnership,” he added.
Kante, who in July left EPL champions Leicester City to join Chelsea for a transfer fee of $42.5 million, also revealed that he liked his latest club’s style of keeping the ball possession.
“I think Chelsea is different from my previous clubs because when I played in Caen and Leicester, we didn’t have the ball as much and we played more on the counter-attack,” Kante felt.
“It’s better to have the ball than to run most of the time behind the ball. We defend like a team and when it’s my task to do the pressing and to work hard to win possession, I have to do it,” the 25-year-old noted.
“That’s what I try to do — work hard to win the ball when we haven’t got it and to keep possession or create a chance when we have the ball.”