Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has maintained that his side is not yet ready to be labelled title contenders even after four consecutive Premier League victories in the ongoing season.
On Sunday, the Blues came up with yet another dominant display and edged out Southampton 2-0 away from home, which was also their fourth straight clean sheet in the league.
Conte's men have registered wins against Hull City, defending champions Leicester City, Manchester United and The Saints since their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. The strong performances have helped Chelsea climb to the fourth spot on the league table and they are a point behind leaders Manchester City .
Despite not starting the season with his tried and tested 3-4-3 formation, Conte switched to the style after the Arsenal defeat. Chelsea have adapted brilliantly to the change in tactics and both their defense and attack look solid now.
However, the 43-year-old does not want to talk about the Blues' title-winning credentials yet but is confident of doing well in the league.
Notably, Chelsea finished 10th on the table after being in the danger of getting relegated as well. Conte's focus thus is not on the table but on capitalising on the team's good performances in the season so far.
"We can improve a lot. We must improve. After the first part of the season – during January – I can tell more about this run," Conte was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
"It is early for us to speak about title contenders. If you ask me a prediction or an expectation of our championship, it is very difficult to talk about this.
"It is important to pass the first part of the season. Then, when you start the second part, our ideas will be more clear.
"We know that the road is long but the confidence is increasing. It is important to get this type of result [win over Southampton] and performance because, in this way, they can trust more in the work. It is not important for us to look at the table now."