Conte on his and Terry’s future, Barca being linked Blues trio, and not playing Mourinho’s mind games
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was asked about a number of issues at his pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. Here is some of what the Italian had to say.
“Today, all my players are available for sure. Tomorrow and Sunday we have training sessions and I hope to have all my players in the best condition.
“I have to decide the starting 11. I will try to make the best decision for the team because we want to go into the next round.”
Could it be John Terry’s final FA Cup game at Stamford Bridge?
“I hope not. I don’t know about this. The player’s situation, my situation, every situation, I prefer to face at the end of the season when it will be the right time for everyone.
“John is doing great work this season on and off the pitch. For me he is very important. He is the captain and giving me a lot in the changing room. He is an important player for us.”
Conte’s own future
“It is the same situation. I think now we must be focused on the present. The players and I must be focused on the present and when the right moment comes to face a situation you talk with the club. Now it’s important to be focused.”
Not playing Mourinho’s mind games
“The most important thing is (what happens on) the pitch – to prepare your team the right way, with the right organisation.
“The important thing is to work to try to improve my players. These are the most important things for me and for any coach.
“My players and I are focused on the game on the pitch, on the work and to try to improve every day.
“The mind games? Don’t think you have to win the mind games. A person who is focused a lot on the pitch is one you can trust with his work.”
Reports Barcelona are interested in Nemanja Matic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso
“In this moment there is a lot of speculation about players and sometimes me.
“We are doing a good job – my players and my staff. We are doing well and it’s important to continue in this way.
“It’s normal for my players to be linked with other teams, but don’t forget that Chelsea is a great team in the same way Barcelona, Real Madrid and other teams are.”