Marcos AlonsoGETTY

Marcos Alonso says Antonio Conte is ensuring Chelsea don’t lose their focus

The 1-0 win at Sunderland opened up a six-point gap on second placed Liverpool, guaranteeing them top spot at Christmas.

Chelsea have won the Premier League title on all four previous occasions they’ve led the table on December 25.

But while Conte may allow his players a celebratory beer after games, there’ll be no let-up as they close in on Arsenal’s record-breaking run of 14 straight wins.

“He hasn’t changed with the wins,” said Alonso. “He’s certainly not mellowed – definitely not.

“The manager likes to work hard and wants the players to give everything.

Antonio ConteGETTY

Antonio Conte hasn’t changed during Chelsea’s 10-match winning run

“He’s certainly not mellowed – definitely not. The manager likes to work hard and wants the players to give everything”

Chelsea star Marcos Alonso

“That is something that is passed down to the players and is very important to us.”

What has changed in the dressing room is the collective reaction to winning.

While no one is taking anything for granted, Alonso claims a professional streak running through the squad tempers post-match celebrations.

He added: “We are getting used to it so we don’t celebrate like we did.

“Now we are working hard and that is the main reason. It is easy to work during the week if you are winning.

“We have got to carry on working to keep this atmosphere in the dressing room.”

Victory against Crystal Palace this weekend will move them a step closer to equalling the Gunners’ 2002 record but Alonso claims that is not in their thoughts.

“The run is amazing,” he said. “It’s 10 wins and eight clean sheets and that says a lot about how the team is putting everything in.

“But it’s a tough Christmas period coming up and we have to take it game by game.

“We will be three off if we win on Saturday, that’s the main thing now. We will speak about the record if we get it.”

           

   

Even after Cesc Fabregas’ winner at the Stadium of Light made it a perfect 10, Conte was still not satisfied and blasted his side for not killing off opponents..

It was a rare off-night for Diego Costa on Wearside and, but for a wonder-save by Thibault Courtois in injury-time to deny ex-Chelsea defender Patrick Van Aanholt, Sunderland might have snatched a draw.

Alonso reckons Courtois has been the unsung hero of Chelsea’s run.

He said: “He has not participated that much in recent games. But against Sunderland, he showed that he is there and one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“It was at amazing save at the end, as was the one against Adnan Januzaj. He was very important.”

Marcos AlonsoGETTY

Marcos Alonso was on loan at Sunderland three years ago

Alonso was on loan at Sunderland when they reached the Capital One Cup final three years ago and performed arguably their greatest escape under Gus Poyet.

And the Spanish wing-back believes the Black Cats can survive again this season.

“I follow them a lot and think they can be in a better position than where they are at the moment,” he added.

“They have a good team and I wish them all the best.”

Source: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/570622/Marcos-Alonso-Chelsea-10-match-winning-run-Antonio-Conte-Sunderland