Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes the performances of Pedro and Oscar in midweek have given him more options.
The Blues bowed out of the EFL Cup with a 2-1 defeat at West Ham but Conte saw plenty of positives – including how Pedro and Oscar performed in new roles within Chelsea’s 3-4-3 system.
Pedro played at wing-back after coming on as a substitute, while Oscar started the game as one of three forwards before dropping deeper into a two-man midfield.
“I saw a lot of things that can be useful for our future,” Conte said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Southampton.
“I saw Pedro as wing-back and Oscar in the two in midfield, and in the position like a striker.
“I think I had a positive answer and I want to use this answer in the Premier League in the future. Now I have more solutions because I tested this.”
Conte also insisted that Chelsea’s defensive lapses during the West Ham game did not alter his view that 3-4-3 is their most effective formation.
“It’s not a win or a defeat that can change my idea or the confidence of the players,” he said.
“I think it’s the right way for the players and a good fit for the team. I think we’ve found a good balance.
“For sure we must continue to work on offensive and defensive situations. When you defend with four it is different to defending with three.
“But I am seeing a lot of positive things and I want to keep working. I think this way is the right way.”