Conte on his future, feeling under pressure, Chelsea’s transfer dealings & Palmieri’s chances of ousting Alonso
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Watford. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
On Chelsea’s injuries
“Alvaro Morata is still out. I hope to be able to solve this situation. For a problem in his back he is missing a lot of games and this is not a good situation for me, for Alvaro and for the team.
“I hope in the future for the medical department to sort this situation out.
“Then about Christensen, the first clinical exam was positive but we have to wait.
“For sure he is out against Watford and I have to check a couple of other situations before the game. Maybe Willian will be available.”
On when new signings Giroud and Palmieri might play
“We have to wait because don’t forget that especially for Palmieri we are talking about a player who is coming back from a bad injury.
“Olivier is coming from a muscular injury and was out for 15 days before playing 15 minutes (for former club Arsenal) in the game against Swansea.
“He is starting to work with us and it is difficult to see him starting.
“We have to make the best decision to bring these two players in the best physical condition and then to work with them.
“It is important to adapt to our idea of football.”
On Palmieri competing with Alonso
“We are talking about a young player without international great experience.
“He played very well for Roma last season and then he had a bad injury.
“Now he stays with us and for sure he is an option to Marcos Alonso and I think it’s good for us.
“Who deserves, plays. This is our view in the changing room. If a player deserves to play it’s important for me to look at what happened during training sessions and the game.”
On reports Alessandro Costacurta will try to persuade him to return to the Italy job
“Costacurta is a friend and we played together in the national team.
“Maybe he forgot I still have 18 months of a contract with Chelsea and my intention and my desire and my will is to respect this contract.”
On whether he plans to speak to Costacurta
“No. I must be honest. No.”
On speculation over his future
“There has been a lot of speculation and a lot of rumours about me.
“The only thing I can tell you is that I have 18 months of a contract and my will is to stay here. I don’t see any problems about this.
“We signed a three-year contract and the desire is to continue and to respect this contract.
“There has been speculation that I will be sacked, but my focus is on continuing with my team.
“I trust in my work and this is the only thing I trust. This is the only way that brought me to be one of the best coaches and managers.”
On Chelsea’s transfer business
“As you know very well, because I always repeated the same concept for the transfer market, in every case I give my opinion to the club and then the club have to make the best decision.
“I said that in every case I would be happy. Now I am lucky because the transfer market has finished and for this reason our focus must be on the pitch and to try to do our best.”
On the lessons of the Bournemouth defeat
“The lesson is always the same: there is no easy game in this league. I think we knew this, but Bournemouth played a good game.
“I think for many reasons we didn’t perform well. If you remember, I spoke one day before about the danger. Sometimes I have this capacity to look forward and see the danger.
“We must be prepared to fight a lot and must understand that this season we must fight to be in the Champions League. This is a big challenge for us.”
On being under pressure
“The pressure is normal. For me the pressure is life. If I stay without pressure, I don’t like it. I like to have the pressure.
“If I see there is no pressure it is not good for me and it is not good for the players because when the situation is too calm you risk being relaxed and losing the hunger and the fire.”
On being relieved the transfer window has closed
“A relief only because you can change the questions! January is a month like all the others, the only problem is that there are 30 days where there is the transfer market and you have to face this situation.”