Experience will help Ake and Batshuayi – Conte

Playing inexperienced duo Michy Batshuayi and Nathan Ake in the FA semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley proves the trust Chelsea have in their squad, according to boss Antonio Conte.

Defender Ake was hugely impressive as Gary Cahill’s replacement in the 4-2 victory on just his third Blues start of the season.

The 23-year-old, who was on loan at Bournemouth in the early part of the season, was solid on the left side of the back three and also instigated the move which led to Willian’s opening goal.

Striker Batshuayi struggled to shine as a surprise replacement for top scorer Diego Costa, despite plenty of willing running and some neat touches.

The Belgian has made just six starts this season, none of which have come in the Premier League.

He missed a great headed chance when Chelsea were 1-0 ahead and often failed to retain possession when the ball was played forward.

But Conte insisted Batshuayi’s appearance was great for his development.

“I am pleased Michy started the game. It was an important game for him and his confidence,” the Italian declared.

“The same for Ake; he is a young player from the academy and he must be proud of that level of commitment.

“I trust them and every single player and I showed this.”

Conte added that giving fringe players more game time is vital for the title challenge.

The Blues are four points clear at the top of the table and have just six games left to play this season.

“I think in this game I involved all my players in our idea and our football,” Conte said.

“It is important in this part of the season that every single player feels part of the project.

“Every single player I work with him in the same way, if you start, are on the bench or in the stand.

“This is important because when you need the player they are ready to fight and play this type of game. I must be proud of this.”