LONDON • Victor Moses has credited Antonio Conte with saving his Chelsea career by converting him into a wing-back.
Moses, who was sent out on loan for three seasons in a row by Jose Mourinho, probably feared a fourth away from Stamford Bridge when he returned last June from West Ham, where his form faded after a bright start.
Having been a substitute for the first six league matches of the campaign, Conte spoke to Moses about his new role before the away game against Hull on Oct 1 - the match Chelsea switched to the three-man defensive system that transformed their season.
"He didn't say to me, 'Do I fancy playing wing-back?' He just put me in there and after that he just kept on encouraging me," Moses said.
"He went through what the position was all about, constantly talking to me in training to make sure I was improving in it. I took that in and I didn't look back.
"I have been learning a lot defensively. And, when I play against a winger, because I'm a winger myself, I understand what they are going to do before they try and go past me, so it makes it a lot easier."
Moses, 26, has hardly missed a league game since Chelsea beat Hull and went on a 13-match winning sequence. The former Crystal Palace and Wigan man signed a two-year contract extension in March, committing his future to Chelsea until 2021.
"I just wanted to play football," he said. "I have never played that position before, but I am enjoying it and I just want to keep on working hard to make sure I am improving."
THE TIMES, LONDON