Antonio Conte insisted he has faith in his entire squad after fielding a number of fringe players in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth round win over Wolves. Chelsea noted seven changes in their starting line-up and included the likes of captain John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Nathan Ake – recalled from a loan spell at Bournemouth last month – and Nathaniel Chalobah, who have not been regulars this season.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho claimed this week that some foreign managers fail to treat the FA Cup with respect when making their team selections.
However, Conte believes the result at Molineux – secured through second-half goals from Pedro and Diego Costa – justified his decision and merely highlighted the strength in depth at his disposal.
"I trust in the squad and these players. They gave me good attitude," he told BT Sport.
"Don't forget that I made seven changes from the last game. It's important that when I decide to put them in the starting 11 I get a good reply.
"They gave me a good answer."
Conte urged his team not to relax in their fight for silverware as the Blues kept alive their hopes of completing a league and cup double.
The Italian coach expressed his disagreement with those who suggest that Chelsea – currently eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table – have already won the title.
"It was a good result because we won the game and our target was to reach next round," he added.
"In the FA Cup there are no easy games and [the match] showed this, but after the first half where we suffered a bit, we created chances in the second half.
"It was very difficult for Wolves to continue to play with this high intensity and in the second half they paid for it. In the second half we created many chances.
"I hear a lot that Chelsea have won the league but it's not true. We have to have the will to fight and the will to win."
Wolves manager Paul Lambert pointed to a missed opportunity in the opening few minutes of the game as a turning point for his side.
Former Chelsea youth player George Saville hit the post with a shot after an early error by Kurt Zouma and Wolves struggled to create chances as the game progressed, but Lambert praised the efforts of his side.
Lambert said: "I'm not one for getting beat and being happy about it, but I thought the performance was outstanding.
"We needed that one to go in from George, but we went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in European football."