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Daniel Sturridge faces two weeks out at West Brom - Pardew

Daniel Sturridge faces two weeks out at West Brom - Pardew

Heavy back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford led to evermore voluble questions surrounding the future of head coach Antonio Conte and placed the reigning champions' hopes of a top-four finish in jeopardy.

Just like he was at Roma, the left-back is being eased back into first-team action by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and he has been on the substitutes' bench for the last two Premier League games. "They are reading speculation and rumours on me and I'm grateful to the fans". I want to thank them. "In terms of their mentality also. for this, I'm very good", Conte was quoted as saying by British media.

"My players know very well what our work is and what we have to do".

"Sometimes we are able to do this, sometimes we are not able, but the will is always present". Jay Rodriguez was especially guilty with one missed gilt-edged opportunity that Pardew said changed the dynamic of the game.

Two superb shots from Eden Hazard, his 14th and 15th goals of the season, either side of a second-half strike from Victor Moses put smiles back on Chelsea faces and maintained our place in the top four, with this Monday night match completing the weekend's round of Premier League fixtures.

The serenading of Conte then began, but far tougher tests await following Hull City's visit in the FA Cup on Friday.

Scott Heavey  GettyImages
Scott Heavey GettyImages

Largely avoiding fitness issues, Sturridge's lack of minutes was primarily due to the form of Roberto Firmino, who hit the 20-goal mark for the first time for the Reds on Sunday. Morata, who had come on to replace Giroud, played the ball into the path of his team-mate and with just a couple of touches, the Belgian had lost his marker.

"It was important for everyone mentally to get away".

Alvaro Morata came off the bench for his first appearance in nearly a month to set up Hazard's sealer in the 71st minute.

"We will go for everything - we have a good team, good players, and we will give everything to reach our targets".

Sturridge has suffered through his share of injury difficulties over the years, but Pardew is optimistic this particular issue will only see him out for weeks rather than months.

But the France global, who left Arsenal to join Chelsea last month, needed five stitches in the back of his head courtesy of Jonny Evans' challenge just before half-time and he was replaced by Alvaro Morata on the hour mark.

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