Conte: My desire to stay

Antonio Conte has reiterated his commitment to the club by speaking of his desire to see out his three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

Our head coach, who led us to the Premier League title in his first season in charge, was asked several times in his pre-Watford press conference about his plans beyond this season, with Conte each time confirming his intentions to continue working hard with his players.

The Blues head to Vicarage Road on Monday evening to take on Watford, with preparations for that clash continuing at Cobham today, where the boss outlined his plans for the future.

‘I think from the start of this season there has been a lot of speculation and rumours about me,’ Conte explained. ‘The only thing I can tell you now is that I have 18 months left on my contract at Chelsea and my will and my desire is to stay here and continue my work.

‘I don’t know why [the speculation is there] but my intention and my will is to see out my contract.

'From the start of the season, and since the defeat against Bournemouth, there’s been a lot of speculation about me being sacked. But I’m not interested in this. I’m only focused on working with my team and trying my best for the team. 

‘As you know very well, I trust in my work and this is the only thing. This is the only way I work and that brought me to be one of the best coaches. Only trusting in my work and in my job. I continue in this way, because I think this has made me become one of the best.’

Conte confirmed that duo Alvaro Morata and Andreas Christensen will both miss the trip to Hertfordshire, although Willian could be set for a return.

The boss was asked whether it’s likely we will see a debut for recent additions Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri, but Conte stated that neither player will be rushed into the side, so soon after joining.

‘Giroud we are starting to work with him but we have to check his physical condition, for sure it won’t be easy to see him play from the start on Monday,’ said Conte.

‘But remember we will maybe have Willian available and in this case the opportunity doesn’t change.

‘For Giroud, we are talking about an international player with a lot of experience. A player that plays for the French national team and is 31-years-old, so we are not talking about a young player. For this reason, our expectation is that he will help us. I asked for this type of player with these characteristics to my club and the club gave me the opportunity to work with Giroud, so I’m very happy.

‘With Emerson Palmieri we are talking about a young player, without a great international experience but a good young player. He only played last season with Roma but did very well before having a bad injury. Now he is with us and for sure he is an option for Marcos Alonso's position. He is a good young player. For me, if a player deserves to play, then he will play.’