Antonio Conte has urged Marcos Alonso to maintain the form that has seen the Chelsea wide-man score five goals this season.
Alonso added to his tally with the second goal in the 2-0 win over Brighton at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
And Blues boss Conte says it is vital that his team can continue relying on the unlikely source of goals.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Conte said: “To score five goals for a wing-back is a great achievement and it’s important to continue and not to stop, because it is very important for us to have this alternative to our strikers.”
Alvaro Morata scored Chelsea’s other goal – his 10th in the Premier League this season – in a resounding victory for the champions.
Conte said: “I think it was a good performance. I have seen the stats and we had 25 shots, eight on target, 13 corners and also a lot of possession. I think we dominated the game.
“We had many chances to improve the final result but I think I saw good intensity, great commitment, and my players wanted to win this game.
“It was important for us to start the second part of the season with a win. I think we are doing a good job but it’s important to continue this way.”