The Blues’ players lost confidence last term, according to the Italian, who has said that is why this campaign is so important to them.
As Chelsea prepare to welcome former boss Jose Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge, manager Antonio Conte said the London club remain scarred from last season’s failed title defence.
Chelsea coasted to Premier League glory under the guidance of Mourinho in 2014-15 but things quickly turned sour the following campaign as the team flirted with relegation before the Portuguese manager departed in December last year.
The Londoners went on to finish 10th, ultimately missing out on European qualification, something that still haunts Chelsea, according to Conte ahead of Manchester United’s visit on Sunday.
“When there are these types of season – very bad seasons, because we finished 10th in the table – it’s normal that something remains in the players,” said Conte.
“In their minds. In their heads. In this situation, the risk is to lose the confidence. For this reason, I continue to repeat: this new season for Chelsea is very important.
“Also, it’s very difficult because you must change what happened last season, and that’s not easy. The only way we have to change is to work, to work very hard, together with the players, the club and the fans. It won’t be easy to cancel a bad season like last season.”