Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Huddersfield. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
On Alvaro Morata
“He is fit. He is in contention for this game.
“I don’t like to comment on speculation. It is not right for everyone. It is important to focus on the present and to finish the season in the best possible way.
“Morata is Chelsea’s player and he must be ready to play tomorrow and next season. The situation is very clear.
“This season was a difficult season but not only for Morata. Your (the media’s) focus is on Morata but I’d like your focus to be for the whole team and not only for one player.”
On the battle for a Champions League place
“The only way to put a bit of pressure on is to get three points in every game. In the last month we did this and we won three tough games away against Southampton, Burnley and Swansea and we won one game at home against Liverpool.
“We are doing our job in the best way to put pressure on Liverpool and Tottenham. But the situation is not in our hands. Liverpool can win the last game against Brighton to reach a place in the Champions League.
“It is the same for Tottenham. They have two home games and it will be enough to win one game and draw one game.”
On Chelsea’s late surge
“For sure there is a bit of disappointment because this season we have dropped many points in a stupid way – especially after games where we dominated, created many chances but were not able to score more goals. At the end of the game, the result was bad.
“We must be disappointed for this. Now there is not time to regret because we have to play two games against Huddersfield and Newcastle and then the FA Cup. And then we will see about our season.”
“I prefer to stay ahead and for the other teams to put pressure on us, like last season. Don’t forget in the last 12 games, Tottenham tried winning 10 games to put pressure until the end, but we were able to win many games and keep the right distance and win the title. It is easier to stay ahead because you know the situation is in your hands.”
On Tiemoue Bakayoko
“If you remember well, I always said that we are talking about a young player. He is only 22 years old and this is his first year in this country. To adapt yourself quickly in this league is not simple and it is not simple to go into our idea of football.
“He has the right characteristics to play for Chelsea. I trust him and he played a good game against Liverpool. I know him and he has a lot of space for improvement. For this I am sure. He played only one season with Monaco.”
On facing Huddersfield
“Our expectations are to have a tough game. Huddersfield are fighting to avoid relegation.
“For this reason we must pay great attention. We have to play another tough game after only two days of rest and against Liverpool we spent a lot of mental and physical energy and we must recover and find the right solution.
“You can win the game in all of 90 minutes and not in the way that you start. We must be clever to try to win the game in the whole 90 minutes.”
On Olivier Giroud
“For sure it has been a good signing for us. We are talking about a player with great experience – an international player. He is a good signing, a good fit and he played a really good game against Liverpool, not only with the ball but he worked very hard for the team, with the ball and without the ball. We must be pleased with this signing.”
On having more options
“I have the same options from the start. When you have some injuries you are forced to take some decisions. In January, Kenedy left and Emerson arrived. Batshuayi went away and Giroud came. One player goes, one player comes. Not many changes and not a great difference.”
On speculation about his own future
“I am very focused on the present. My answer is always the same – to do the job in the same way for the players and for the fans. Our job is not easy. I am totally focused on the present and the present is to finish in the best possible way with the players because our fans deserve this.”