Cesc Fabregas has said he is ‘sad’ when he is left on the bench for Chelsea.

The Spain international has started just five Premier League matches this season for Chelsea.

Antonio Conte has preferred the pairing of Nemanja Matic and summer signing N’Golo Kante in the middle of the park.

And with Chelsea’s excellent form in the league this season, Fabregas has had to settle for the role of super sub.

The 29-year-old came off the bench yesterday to pick up his sixth assist of the season when Gary Cahill nodded in from his free-kick.

But Fabregas admits he doesn’t enjoy his role from the bench.

“I play football to win and enjoy,” he told the Chelsea website.

“When I don’t play I’m sad and I don’t enjoy it but I’m happy the team is doing well. Football is my life, it’s everything to me.

“Every time I’m on the pitch I try to do my best. In this game it went well again so I just need to keep going and show the manager I deserve to play.”

Cesc Fabregas - Chelsea
Cesc Fabregas at Chelsea

In Chelsea’s last game against Hull, Fabregas came off the bench in the second half and produced the set-piece delivery from which Gary Cahill scored our second goal in the 2-0 victory. Diego Costa had broken the deadlock just before half-time with a well-taken strike from a Victor Moses cross as we moved eight points clear at the top of the table.

‘First of all I would like to say, on behalf of Chelsea and the team, we want to wish Ryan Mason well,’ said the midfielder, after the Hull player was taken to hospital with a serious injury from an accidental clash of heads with Cahill.

‘It was a very tough game, we knew it would be from the beginning,’ he added. ‘We prepared very well for it and it paid off. In the Premier League there are no easy games but we must be pleased with the result because it was three points we really wanted.

‘After this weekend, when there were some unexpected results, we knew it was a must-win to go into two difficult games with the advantage we wanted.

‘In the first half maybe we didn’t play the ball as quickly as we had to, but sometimes you have to win in a way which isn’t the prettiest.’