Zola hails Conte impact at Chelsea

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Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola admits the lightning-quick impact manager Antonio Conte has had at the club is impressive.

The Blues enjoy first position in the Premier League standings after 13 games, one point clear of Liverpool and Manchester City, after finishing down in 10th place last season.

Zola expected compatriot Conte to turn Chelsea around, but didn’t foresee such a rapid improvement under the former Juventus boss.

“I know how Antonio works, how good he is. To see the work flourishing so quickly is a surprise but it’s all down to the work he does and his ability as a coach,” he told Sky Sports News HQ. “He deserves it.

“(Not playing in Europe) is an advantage, certainly, because there are teams who have more games, but that’s not a guarantee.

“You need to work hard to win the league because there five or six teams who have the credentials to do that. They have to keep performing the way they are doing and if they do that they stand a good chance.”