Antonio Conte is convinced his cautious selection policy with Eden Hazard will pay off for Chelsea.

Hazard was named as a substitute yet again at Stoke on Saturday despite playing 90 minutes at home to Nottingham Forest three days before. It means the attacking midfielder has still not started a Premier League game this season.

Conte remains determined to take things slowly with Hazard as he continues to build toward full match fitness following a fractured ankle in June.

The Belgium international is in contention to be named in the first XI at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and at home to Manchester City this Saturday.

But with Conte having so many fit players to choose from at the moment, the Italian says Hazard should be prepared to remain patient.

He explained: “I think Eden is improving a lot and in contention for the game (in Madrid). After his injury and surgery you need time, and if I make the decision (to start him) it is because I think he is ready.

“When you are in a great team with many great players, you must understand that you need to be ready to start on the bench, ready to come on and make a difference. 

In Pictures | Stoke City vs Chelsea | 23/09/2017

“I don’t see a problem. We are managing his recovery very well. Hazard is very important for us, so we have to make sure he is ready to play a full game.”