West Brom (h) - Conte`s Pre-Match Press Conference
Although Chelsea don`t play until Monday night, for the second week running, with West Bromwich Albion visiting Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte held his pre-match press conference this afternoon.
With Chelsea having suffered a heavy defeat, at Watford, on Monday night, it didn`t take a genius to suspect that one of the assembled journalists would ask the inevitable question relating to the future of the under-pressure Italian, asking whether he would still be at the club next year, Conte answered,
'Yes but I'm not thinking for only one moment of the possibility of going away from this club. My commitment and the commitment of my players is totally for this club and we're trying to do our best.
'But as you know well in football, and I don't agree, a lot of time the manager or coach depends on the result. In this case we've had a poor result and for this reason we have to pay great attention.
'We have to trust in our football.'
Asked for an update on the injury situation, Conte stalled the journalists present by replying,
'There is no new injury news.' Before adding,
"Morata won't be ready but Giroud is training with us and will be in contention.
"Players like Morata, for us that are very important, have been missing for a long time. He has a problem and we're struggling to solve the pain he has.
"I don't know how long he will be out and for this reason I'm a bit worried."
Continuing, Conte spoke about the recent defeats Chelsea have suffered, against Bournemouth and Watford, with Conte remarking,
'I like to play football and try to dominate the game. To do this you have to have personality to play the ball.
'But the most important thing is that defeats happen only once.'
'Every single player knows very well that we have to try to improve and to improve the results you must play better than we did against Watford. Against Watford we were totally negative but we showed a lot against Bournemouth.'
Before further adding about the two performances,
"We conceded three shots and three goals against Bournemouth. Against Watford the performance was negative from the start and we didn't create chances. We conceded three in eight minutes.
"The coach has to try to find the best solution to avoid this situation.
"I didn't like that performance but I'm sure the players didn't either.
"I've got to look at myself as well."
And on why he surprisingly chose to give his players three days off after the Watford defeat, Conte responded,
'It was a chance, the only chance this season.
"In future the federation should look for a chance to give players the rest. Don't forget in this season we've reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, we're in the FA Cup and we played Norwich twice. Then we're in the Champions League and we have the Premier League.
'So a rest - not just for my players but in general - is important.'
'I think the table speaks very clearly. If you have these points it means you deserve them.
'We have a team in this league having a fantastic run and it's not simple to try to follow them.'
And on the reaction of the players to the 4-1 defeat at Vicarage Road, where the club captain, Gary Cahill, suggested the players should take a long hard look at themselves, Conte further added,
'In every situation we have to divide the responsibility and that is in positive and negative situations.
"When you have these periods with so poor results, you have to divide it between me, the players and the club.'
And on Tiemoue Bakayoko, who many feel has yet to justify his transfer fee and who was sent-off last time out, Conte had this to say,
"He's a young player. Only 22. Last season he won the title in France with Monaco and played in the Champions League.
"To arrive in this league and adapt yourself very quickly is not simple but my task is to try to help him and every single player improve."
An entertaining few minutes with some honest views exchanged.