Conte on Terry’s role, transfers, formations, Ranieri and more

Chelsea: Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte was asked about a number of issues at his first press conference at Chelsea since taking over as Blues boss. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.

On John Terry’s role

“John Terry signed a contract as a player, not as a different role. He is the captain of this team, a great player with a great personality and great charisma.

“I like to speak with him because I know he knows the club and the right spirit to play for this club. For me he’s an important player.

“John Terry is the captain of Chelsea when he plays – always. I repeat, he is an important player for me, for the club and the fans.

“I am very happy he signed a new deal. I spoke with him at different times and for me the most important thing was that he was very happy.”

Terry signed a one-year contract in May
Terry signed a one-year contract in May

On his approach to transfers

“I prefer to speak always with my club and to take a decision together about players.

“It’s important not to sign champions only because they are champions. You must take a player who can adapt to our football and our philosophy.

“It’s not right to say names. Those players are in other teams. I don’t like it when other managers speak about my players and I don’t like to speak in the same way.”

On whether Chelsea will play with three at the back

“Usually when I arrive in a new team I search to find the right position for the players.

“When I was in Italy, I liked to say that a manager is like a tailor and that you must build a dress – the best dress for the team.

“You have to respect the characteristics and the talent of the players you have and then you decide.

Kenedy of Chelsea
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“In the past, I have started a season with other teams, with one idea of football, and then I have changed it because I saw that system was not good for the players.

“Three at the back is not important. For us, what’s important is the right spirit of the team.

“If we want to go back to competing for the title we have to give good organisation and good training.

“I think I can improve my players and I am sure that we can improve through a lot of work.”

On what he has seen in training so far

“I saw players with the right attitude, with a great will to fight for this shirt and to compete to win the title. I was very glad to see these things and I think it’s very important.”

On representing Italy in the Premier League

“I’ll bring with me everything I’ve learned – all my experience, both from my playing career and coaching career. I’m very proud of everything I did.

“I will also try to represent my country and this is a great responsibility for me. Being Italian, I’ll do my best and try to make my fellow compatriots proud. I’ll work hard to try to achieve that and I hope I can make that happen.”

On ex-Chelsea boss and fellow Italian Claudio Ranieri

“Over the coming days, and in the future, I will call Claudio Ranieri, first and foremost because he’s a lovely man, and I will ask him for a bit of advice.

“But I do know about the customs of this country. When you move to a new country you come in with a lot of respect and really get to know the customs of that country.”

On Chelsea’s title chances

“I am aware that the league will be very tough this season, from every perspective. We are underrated, but I hope we are in there and that we can surprise people and that this can motivate us further.

“I hope there is a small flame flickering that can eventually grow into a blazing inferno.”