The Italian -- and several of his players -- have admitted that they are feeling the physical effects of a gruelling and at times unfavourable fixture schedule in recent weeks, and this move is intended to give them some much-needed rest with Chelsea
not in action again until next Monday, when they host West Bromwich Albion at Stamford
Chelsea's players were regularly given as many as two days off after matches last season, thanks largely to the club's lack of involvement in European competition, but opportunities for extended breaks have been limited this term.
The Premier League champions' form has nosedived since the turn of the year, yielding just two victories from 10 matches in all competitions in 2018, and Conte's
squad has also been hit by a number of muscle injuries.
Andreas Christensen limped out of the Bournemouth game with a hamstring problem, while January signing Ross Barkley also suffered a similar injury in training ahead of the Watford match. There is also still no clear timeframe for Alvaro Morata's return from lingering back pain.
Asked if fatigue is playing a role in Chelsea's struggles after the Watford loss, Conte said he believes it is.
"For sure, this is a difficult moment," he said. "If we want to find excuses, alibis, e can
find everything. Tiredness, injuries ... but this is not my way to face the situation, to solve the problem. The problems you have to solve with work. You don't win with excuses.
In my life, I like to be a winner, and I'm a winner."
Chelsea lie fourth in the Premier League after 26 matches -- one point behind Liverpool and one point ahead of Tottenham
Hotspur -- and the hierarchy are not minded to dismiss Conte unless it becomes clear that qualification for next season's Champions League is in jeopardy.