Conte on his future, Vialli comments, West Ham and whether Liverpool have shown how to play Man City
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against West Ham. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
On the death of Ray Wilkins
“It was a tragedy. We are talking about a really good person.
“I was lucky to know him and speak with him many times. He was a legend for this club and an ambassador for football. We are sad because it is very difficult to accept this news.
“We want to pass on to the the family our deepest condolences. This is a big loss.
“On Sunday we must be ready to make a great memory to Ray, I think this will be very important.
“And then there is the game. I see two different situations and it is not right to mix them. We must have great respect for this tragedy and then think to play football.”
On the latest injury news
“At the moment, two players are out; Luiz and Ampadu. We have two days to check the physical condition of the players. For now, for sure, we have two players out.”
(Conte added that Thibaut Courtois and Pedro “could be” in contention to return)
On facing West Ham
“We must pay great attention because in the last period they are playing good football and having good results. They are fighting to avoid the relegation zone.
“We want three points. It is a London derby. It is an important game to continue to have a hope to reach a place in the Champions League.”
On Chelsea’s dwindling top-four chances
“We must be realistic. Tottenham was a bad defeat. We had an opportunity to reduce the gap but we have to try to do everything to try to continue to have the possibility to fight for a place in the Champions League. It won’t be easy. We must be realistic.
“We have to give all of ourself. We must show pride, desire and will to fight until the end of the season. This must be our target this season now.
“Everyone has to show a will to fight. This is very important for me, the staff and players to show this. Our supporters deserve this at least.
“After the defeat – especially this type of defeat – it is not simple.
“But everyone must show pride in this moment and a great desire to change the situation and not to complain and cry. This is the only way we can do it if we want to finish the season in the best possible way.
“The gap is big and we know this, but we must great pride and a will to work for the team with and without the ball.
“I predicted that this season would be very difficult for me at the start of the season. But we must face the moment with a great desire to change the situation. We have only one way to work.”
On whether Liverpool have shown how to beat Man City
“No, I think you can beat the the opponent in different ways. There is not only one way to beat an opponent.
“You must understand what are the characteristics of your players, because if you have players that are good to press and good to run for 95 minutes it’s right to bring high intensity and to press.
“If you don’t have this type of players, and they have difficulty to press and they have difficulty to play without the ball, then you have to go another way to try to beat them.”
On Gianluca Vialli suggesting Conte wants to leave Chelsea
“It is not true. Gianluca is a friend but I have not talked with him for one year, maybe. This is not true.
“It is very difficult for me. Since this season I am listening to a lot of speculation about my future and a lot of people talking about my future.
“The only truth is I am committed for this club. I have a contract and I am working very hard. The other situations are not true.”