Jose Mourinho believes his pragmatic approach in recent weeks has been necessary to bring success to Chelsea.
Upon his return to Stamford Bridge in June, Mourinho had a wealth of attacking talent available to him, including Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata.
Samuel Eto'o and Andre Schurrle were added to the forward ranks as Chelsea started the season playing an expansive 4-2-3-1 system.
Consistency was tough to find early on for the London club though, as they fell to two defeats against Basel in the UEFA Champions League and suffered reverses at Newcastle United and Stoke City domestically.
Mata's sale to Manchester United and a subsequent switch to 4-3-3 - the system used by the Portuguese in his hugely successful first spell at Chelsea - has yielded better results, as Chelsea made the Champions League semi-finals and remain in the hunt for the Premier League title.
Mourinho has been pilloried for a seemingly negative outlook recently against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid, but he feels his tactics have been justified.
"I feel that in a conscious way I knew what I was doing at a certain moment of the season," he told the club's official website.
"I made the decision to stop the evolution in the style of play and I went in a direction that with these players we have we could get results.
"I felt we couldn't arrive where we did in the Champions League if we didn't change our style of play. The team became more strategical and less intuitive because we went for results.
"There was a moment where I felt this Premier League was so dangerous that it was a big risk for every one of the big teams to be out of the top four. The reality is that this Premier League is a big risk and next season will be the same.
"Man United are out, I think Arsenal will do it but they were in trouble, Everton are a threat, Tottenham are a threat."
Mourinho believes his top performers this season have been in defence, and hailed his backline's efforts when facing some of the game's most potent attacks.
He added: "When everybody thinks about players of the season people normally go to the creative ones and strikers. I look to (Cesar) Azpilicueta, (Gary) Cahill, (John) Terry, (Branislav) Ivanovic, they had an amazing season.
"Look how many goals the Liverpool strikers score, they didn't score against Chelsea. You see how many goals Diego Costa has scored this season but over two games he only scored a penalty against Chelsea."
|Maradona warns Kane that goalkeepers are watching|
|Manchester United great Giggs keen on Everton, Leicester jobs|
|Spalletti: Inter are Serie A contenders when Scudetto questions stop|
|Was Ronaldo really the best player in 2016-17? - The verdict in Opta stats|
|Real Madrid dominate FIFA FIFPro World XI of 2017|
|Ronaldo wins Best FIFA Men´s Player award ahead of Messi, Neymar|
|Zidane scoops Best FIFA Men´s Coach award after stellar year with Madrid|
|Giroud wondergoal wins FIFA Puskas Award|
|A lot of noise - Valverde reflects on Barca´s post-Neymar woes|
|Bernardo Silva cleared of diving against Burnley|
|Ronaldo the best? That´s Zidane´s opinion, says Valverde|
|Bonucci banned for Milan v Juventus|
|De Sciglio returns to Juventus training|
|Top of the Flops: Koeman´s transfer dealings brought about his Everton demise|
|Ditched Dutch: Koeman joins likes of De Boer & Van Gaal on the Premier League scrapheap|
|The third-shortest tenure but the second-best winning percentage - Koeman´s Everton spell in Opta nu|
|Mata urges United unity after Huddersfield embarrassment|
|Everton sack Koeman after woeful start to season|
|´Annoyed´ Theo Hernandez ready to turn back on France|
|We will fight for Conte – Courtois eager to avoid repeat of Mourinho debacle|
|Bayern Munich´s Muller out for three weeks with hamstring strain|
|It´s like hitting a chef with a knife and fork – Neymar blasts Marseille fans for missiles|
|We all deserved substituting after 30 minutes – Henderson slams Liverpool display|
|Mbappe named Golden Boy ahead of Dembele, Rashford|
|Neymar: Red card was harsh|
|Verratti: If I was Neymar, I would´ve lost it much earlier|
|Benzema isn´t overrated, insists Madrid boss Zidane|
|Cassano: I could´ve been playing on Mars like Messi and Neymar|
|Neymar red card unfair – Emery|
|Kane can become like Ronaldo and Messi, says Kobe Bryant|
|MLS Review: Portland top west, Earthquakes reach play-offs|
|Kane pleased with Spurs´ spectacle for NBA legend Kobe Bryant|
|Zidane backs ´player of a generation´ Ronaldo to rediscover goalscoring touch|
|Cavani calls on PSG to keep improving after Classique draw|
|Conte agrees with Guardiola and Mourinho over EFL Cup|
|Pochettino lauds Spurs for delivering in front of Maradona|
|Marcelo lauds Benzema as Europe´s best striker|
|Even the Golden State Warriors lose - Guardiola dismisses City ´Invincibles´ tag|
|I am different to other managers – Why Conte does not fear Chelsea axe|
|Character is key for Cahill as Chelsea chase consistency|
|Marseille 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Cavani rescues visitors after Neymar sees red|
|Real Madrid 3 Eibar 0: Super Asensio spares Ronaldo´s blushes|
|Allegri thanks Mandzukic for red card in Udinese rout|
|CAF Champions League Review: Al Ahly advance to final in dazzling style|
|Liverpool deserve to be ninth, says under-pressure Klopp|
|Wrong news - Wenger rubbishes Ozil exit rumours|
|Klopp slams Lovren: I would have stopped Kane getting the ball!|
|Udinese 2 Juventus 6: Khedira hat-trick inspires Bianconeri rout|
|We could have scored more - Two-goal Kane hails ´unbelievable´ Tottenham|
|Tottenham´s Kane one of the best - Pochettino|
|Atletico needed win at Celta, says Simeone|
|Tottenham set Premier League attendance record|
|Tottenham 4 Liverpool 1: Kane double increases pressure on Klopp|
|Montella questions VAR, promises ´united´ Milan will deliver|
|Celta Vigo 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Fit-again Gameiro ends visitors´ winless run|
|Wenger: Ozil back to his best for dominant Arsenal|
|Dolberg double sinks Feyenoord in De Klassieker|
|We´ve let him down – Keane backs Koeman after Arsenal capitulation|
|It´s not time to be crazy - Koeman calls for calm after Everton thumping|
|Mertesacker lauds compatriot Ozil after Everton thumping|
|AC Milan 0 Genoa 0: Bonucci sees red as 10-man Rossoneri fight for point|
|Guangzhou Evergrande claim seventh straight Chinese Super League crown|
|Everton 2 Arsenal 5: Koeman on the brink as hosts capitulate|
|Ipswich Town 0 Norwich City 1: Maddison gives Canaries more derby glory|
|Gary Neville thinks he is done as a football manager|
|Ibrahimovic has ´minimum´ five or six years left, claims Raiola|
|A-League Review: Vargas injury mars Newcastle Jets win, late winner gives Perth Glory first victory|
|Maybe the Premier League title race is already over - Klopp|
|Pochettino accuses Walker of ´alarming lack of respect´ over Tottenham exit|
|Pochettino: Mourinho put Dier in compromising position amid United interest|
|Sarri: Napoli care more about Serie A than Champions League|
|My goal was legal against Malaga, insists Barca´s Deulofeu|
|Valverde does ´not see any problem´ with Suarez´s sour substitution reaction|
|Ignore the noise, says under-fire Ozil|