Michael Essien urges Chelsea to keep faith with Antonio Conte
Chelsea great Michael Essien has urged his former club to keep faith with head coach Antonio Conte despite their struggles this term.
The Blues have mounted a feeble title defence this season, and have their work cut out to qualify for next year's Champions League.
They're currently five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with four matches to play, and their underwhelming form has prompted speculation about Conte's future.
However, former Chelsea midfielder Essien believes that the Italian could still be the man to turn things around.
"He's a good coach," Essien told KweséESPN. "We can see that from last year when he managed to get the best out of the players.
"I think he is still the man but it doesn't come down to me."
Chelsea may yet on the season on a high, having secured a spot in May's FA Cup final against Manchester United, although it may take more than a domestic cup to appease a reportedly disgruntled dressing room.
'It's the nature of football, sometimes you just can't explain it," Essien added. "Last year was great, this year has not been, but hopefully they can end the season on a high level."
Former Ghana international Essien spent the best part of nine years at Chelsea between 2005 and 2014, winning two Premier League titles, and the Champions League in 2012.