Chelsea are 'working very hard to strengthen the squad' - Antonio Conte

LONDON -- Antonio Conte reiterated Chelsea's urgent need for squad reinforcements before the transfer deadline despite a convincing 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday, and revealed that he will allow Eden Hazard to join up with the Belgium squad over the international break.

First-half goals from Cesc Fabregas and record signing Alvaro Morata marked Chelsea's best attacking performance of the season so far on a hot afternoon at Stamford Bridge, while at the other end Thibaut Courtois was relatively comfortable throughout a late Everton surge.

Conte's substitutes' bench looks a little deeper with Fabregas back from suspension, Pedro Rodriguez fit enough to start and summer arrival Tiemoue Bakayoko working his way to full fitness, but Chelsea face a gruelling run of seven matches in 21 days next month across the Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup.

"For sure, we must be pleased with the performance," Conte said of the Everton win. "We dominated the game, we created many chances to score. I saw a lot of positive things, great concentration and focus, the will to finish this game with a clean sheet. I think it was very important for us.

"If I have to see a little negative aspect, in the second half we could have been more clinical and scored the third goal to close the game definitely. At 2-0, set-plays and corners you might concede a goal and you might have finished the game with a bit of fear, which you don't need.

"There are four days to go in the transfer market. I think the club is working very hard to try to improve our squad. Don't forget when we start, next month, in September we have to play seven games. I need to rotate my players because it's very difficult to play seven games in a month with the same players.

"I think the club is working very hard to strengthen the squad. They know very well our situation. But I repeat, I'm ready in every case to continue to work with this group of players, with the players we have."

Pressed on speculation that he could resign if signings don't arrive, Conte said: "My message for the fans is always the same: I'm totally committed to the club. Totally committed to improve my players and my team. I'm a coach, not a manager. I think the best of my work is on the pitch, to try and improve my players and my team.

"Then, for sure, when you want to strengthen your squad, you have to give your opinion and speak with your club, but then the club goes into the transfer market to try and sort the situation. To try and help us. Sometimes it could be possible. Sometimes it is possible. Sometimes it's not possible. But I must be focused with things on the pitch and continue to work with my players."

Another issue occupying Conte's mind in recent days has been Belgium coach Roberto Martinez's decision to call up Hazard -- who has been sidelined since June with a broken ankle sustained on international duty -- for World Cup qualifiers against Gibraltar and Greece.

Chelsea's head coach warned that it would be "a great mistake" to try and accelerate Hazard's recovery on Friday but, having since spoken to Martinez on the phone, his stance has softened.

"I had a conversation with Roberto yesterday and I think, now, it could be positive for Eden to go with the national team and have the training sessions," Conte said. "Then, yes, maybe to have the possibility to play a part of the game with Gibraltar.

"I told Roberto that, if I can help him, I'm ready to do this. Also because, in my past, I was coach of the national team. I know very well that his task is not easy.

"For Eden, I spoke with the player and the player is happy to go and stay with the national team. He's the captain. But the most improtant thing is to continue to work very hard to improve, then have the possibility to bring him to the bench after the international break and start to think he's a new player for Chelsea this season."