Chelsea boss Antonio Conte felt the performances of two youngsters in particular were major plusses for his side.

While preferring not to highlight individuals, Conte felt the displays of midfield pair Ola Aina and Nathaniel Chalobah in the 2-1 EFL Cup loss at West Ham United were hugely positive.

“I prefer to speak always about the whole team but I think this cup is very important to check the development of these young players,” he said.

“We have good young players and they need to play. I think the youngsters played a good game with the right intensity and concentration. When you lose it’s normal to see bad things but tonight I found a lot of positives.

“Usually you learn more after a defeat than a win but we must continue to work. I’m optimistic because I saw the right spirit and that’s very important. You can lose or win but you must have the right spirit. If I see that, I see a clear future.

“Tomorrow we start to work for Sunday’s game. We know we will play a very tough game against Southampton, who are in a good moment.”