West London Sport

Conte on Morata, Barkley deal, Hazard injury, Luiz, Mourinho comments and speculation over his future

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Norwich. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.

Conte on the Norwich game

“When you play every three days you have to make many rotations. My idea is to continue like the past and also because I trust and believe in my players. We want to go to the next round but I will make rotations.”

On David Luiz and Eden Hazard

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“David Luiz is ready and will be in contention for tomorrow’s game. The only problem we have is Hazard. He had a kick in his calf and we have to solve this problem.”

On Ross Barkley

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“He’s very young and I think he has a lot of space for improvement. He is very strong physically and has good technique.

“It’s a good prospect, but at the same time it will be very important to understand when he can recover from injury, because don’t forget he had a bad injury and hasn’t been playing for seven months.

“We must have great patience and hope to recover him very quickly.”

On reports linking Chelsea with West Ham’s Andy Carroll

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“I don’t know. I give my opinion to the club but the club then decide the players we can buy or sell.

“It is the club that signs the players, not me. The recruitment is not my job. The club try to do the best to improve this team. I am a coach. I give my opinion. The club decide the players to arrive to sell and to buy.”

On speculation over his own future

“We are hearing a lot of stories about myself. But this is the history here. You have to work and do your best. After the first game against Burnley, the rumours were that Chelsea were trying to replace me.

“There are a lot of rumours that I can move to another team and a lot of speculation about myself. It is normal, when you are an important coach.”

On Alvaro Morata

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“Morata scored 12 goals in this season. he made seven assists. Until now the stats are good for this player.

“Morata is a young player – only 25 years old. It is the first season he is playing with regularity. I am very happy, the club is very happy, for the commitment of this player.

“He is a young striker who can become one of the best in the world. In the future I do not see problems with Morata.

“The striker’s job is to score but they also make mistakes. In the last two games Morata is unlucky but I was pleased of his work for the team.”

On Arsene Wenger accusing Eden Hazard of diving

“I think if Arsene watches the game again, he’ll understand that he was very lucky in the game with the refereeing decisions.”

On Jose Mourinho referring to “clowns” on the touchline, seemingly with Conte in mind

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“He has to see himself in the past. Maybe he was speaking about himself in the past. Maybe sometimes I think they forget their behaviour in the past.

“I don’t like to speak about the other coaches or players. There is a form of respect you must have. Sometimes you can forget.

“I can talk about referee decisions for one month. But I don’t want to do this because I have respect. He is an old coach and has to accept the decisions.”