Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Everton. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
Conte on Alvaro Morata being suspended
“The only problem is Morata. He took a yellow card and for this reason is not available for the game. It’s a big loss for us, but it happens and it’s OK.”
On Morata’s booking against Bournemouth
“I must be honest, in that moment we were enjoying the goal and I didn’t see the situation but I knew he tried to celebrate the goal with the ball under the shirt. It’s a pity but we have to accept the decision.
“If the referee books him only because he put the ball under his shirt, it’s a pity. You can allow this. It’s a celebration and you are showing your joy. The referee judged it in a different way.”
On his plans without Morata
“For sure Morata against Everton should play. He would start the game for sure. But now I have to prepare a different plan. I have different options and I have another day to make the best decision for this game.”
On facing Everton
“This game is very important for us – the last game before Christmas and I’d like to spend a good Christmas with a good win.
“But we know very well that in the last five games Everton have won four games. They are in a good moment of form.
“They changed the coach and are having good results and for this reason we must play great attention. It is important for us to continue our run in the league.”
On Ethan Ampadu
“Ampadu has been part of our squad from, not the start of the season, but after one month – he started to train with us every day.
“He is part of our squad and I have to try to make the best decision but for sure I can count on him and I think I showed this, because in the last game against Everton in the Carabao Cup he played from the start as a midfielder, then he played part of the game against Huddersfield and then he played from the start against Bournemouth in an important game for us.
“This player is very humble despite him being only 17 years old he keeps his feet on the ground and I’m sure he won’t lose his head. He’s showing great maturity, great personality and great composure before games and during games and after the games.”
On being drawn against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup
“I’m happy. It’s a big game for us and for Arsenal, but when you reach the semi-final you must be ready to face big teams. You must be ready to face a tough game. Arsenal is a really good team.”
On the likes of Eden Hazard and David Luiz being linked with moves
“A difficult period is starting, for every club and every coach, because in this period there are a lot of rumours. Some rumours are true, some are wrong.
“We must be ready to face this situation. I think the best way for me is to not read it and only to chat with the club and then to try to improve our squad if this is possible.
“We must be ready to face these rumours, but at the same time we must be ready to focus and to go game by game because we have to play every three days and I think it’s not right to let these rumours disturb us.
“We have to live with these rumours. My players are clever (enough) to go game by game not listen to these rumours – and a lot of them aren’t true.”
On his hopes for the transfer window
“About this topic, I prefer to talk with the club and to find the best solution together for the team.
“If there is the possibility to improve the squad and the numerical aspect I think it will be a good choice, but at the same time I am enjoying it with these (current) players.
“I am ready to continue to play with these players because they are showing me great commitment, but at the same time if there is the possibility to improve our squad I think the club will try to do this.”
On his hopes for Christmas
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“It’s not simple to enjoy Christmas if you have to work, but it’s amazing to live this type of atmosphere – especially if you win. But it’s not simple, because you have the training session, you have to play the game and you have to travel, but to live this atmosphere is amazing for me and for my players.
“My one wish (for Christmas), or task, is to try to give the best satisfaction for our fan. For sure we will give all of ourselves to give this, I can promise this to our fans.”