Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has explained why he decided to leave Andreas Christensen on the bench against West Ham last weekend.

The Blues boss, as quoted by Get West London, addressed the media ahead of his side’s important trip to Southampton on Saturday and was quizzed on his decision to drop Christensen against the Hammers.

Denmark international Christensen has enjoyed an involved role in the starting line-up for Chelsea this season but has made a few costly errors in recent times.

Conte opted to call on the experience of Gary Cahill for the game against West Ham, which ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw.

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It was initially believed that Christensen was left on the bench as a consequence of his recently uninspiring form. However, Conte has explained that the young defender was merely tired and in need of a rest.

Don’t forget, we’re talking about a young player. For him, this is the first season to play at this level and to play at this level it means that you lose a lot of mental energy. It could be that he can be a bit tired.

At the same time, I think to give Gary Cahill the possibility to play is right. We are talking about an important player, not only for Chelsea but also for the national team.

Chelsea will need to secure all three points at Southampton this weekend as they bid to push their way back into the top four of the Premier League.