REUTERS - Eden Hazard believes he has been given more freedom to score goals after being pushed to a central attacking role under Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
The 25-year-old Belgian winger struck four goals in the Premier League last season but has already racked up three after the opening eight league games this campaign, with Conte opting for a wing-back formation in recent games.
“When you are strong defensively you bring confidence to all the team, and it is more easy to score goals,” Hazard, who scored a goal in Saturday’s 3-0 hammering of champions Leicester City, told Chelsea’s website.
Hazard also scored back-to-back goals for his country in World Cup qualifying wins over Gibraltar and Bosnia earlier this month.
“I play more inside the pitch and we play also this system in the national team. For the strikers, we have more freedom, and even when we lose the ball if we press together we can get it back, and it is a good system for Chelsea,” he added.
“It is always good to be on the scoresheet. I am a striker so I try every game to score and my confidence is good. I scored two goals for the national team and one this weekend and I hope to score more in the next game.”
Chelsea, fifth in the league standings three points behind leaders Manchester City, host Manchester United on Sunday.
Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru, editing by Julien Pretot