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Conference Call: The right reply

The performances of his young players and some of those with more experience impressed Antonio Conte in today’s big win over Brentford.

Goals from Willian and Pedro before the break and Branislav Ivanovic and Michy Batshuayi after it ensured it was another smooth FA Cup afternoon at the Bridge, and the home support left the ground having seen their side win a 10th consecutive match in SW6.  

Conte was pleased with a number of different aspects of the victory as he highlighted afterwards…

‘It was a good result for us,’ Conte began. ‘When you win 4-0 it’s a good result, and when you score many goals and you don’t concede. In this case Asmir Begovic was very good, he made two good saves.

‘I must be pleased because when you change nine players you can see all the players, all the squad are totally involved in our idea of football, our project. That’s very important.

‘This competition until now has been an opportunity for me to put players in that are not playing a lot in this period for us. It was also very important to see the right reply of these players and it happened. I’m very happy.

‘We have to try to arrive at the end of the competition if we are able. If we win we will deserve this. We are ready to fight. We will see the draw - I hope to play the next game at home again.’

Five of our starting XI today are 23 or younger

‘Our young players are growing and it’s very important for the club. We only have the league and the FA Cup. The FA Cup is a good opportunity to see these young players and their improvement. I am satisfied with what I saw today. They are very important for the club.

‘If they deserve to play I am ready to put them in the team. I am not scared of young players. The only thing I ask is that they are ready to play.’

Batshuayi struck for the second successive FA Cup match

‘To score a goal is always important for a player, above all a forward. His performance was good, I saw great commitment, he worked very hard for the team, for sure he is improving step by step. He is increasing his knowledge about our idea of football, our philosophy. It’s important now he continues to work and shows us the right commitment and will to improve.’

Pedro meanwhile scored his third in two games starting as a wing-back

‘We are finding out a great player that can play in different positions. To see him as a wing-back is not usual, like Moses at the start of the season. It shows me he has great commitment, form and quality.

‘Pedro plays very well as a wing-back or as a winger. Now I have a problem for Tuesday!’

Ivanovic came off the bench to score. He has been linked with a move away recently…

‘First of all, I’m pleased for Iva. He scored a goal and that is always a great joy for a player.

‘In this situation it’s important to evaluate a lot of things, above all for the player. He hasn’t played a lot for us this season.  I know when a player has the habit to play every game and it happens that you’re not playing regularly, it’s not easy to accept this decision.

‘Iva knows the situation well. I’m pleased if he remains here with us, but in this situation the player must make the best decision for him and his family.

‘I’m ready to accept any decision. He deserves great respect for his career at Chelsea. He has played a lot of games, he has won a lot, and we have to respect his decision.’

Begovic is another who has been the subject of transfer talk

‘It’s the same situation as for Iva. There are three days to finish this transfer window. The situation is very clear with Asmir.

‘Asmir is a really important player for me, a really good goalkeeper, important in the changing room. We are open to offer him the possibility to go in another team, but it’s important we have a substitution. We have some situations we are seeing, but we are not closer.

‘He loves Chelsea, his teammates, the club. We have a really good relationship and for sure it won’t be a problem.’

Now our attention switches to a trip to Anfield on Tuesday

‘To win away against Liverpool is never easy. We have only two days to prepare. When we played against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, we lost the game, the only game we have lost here. It’s important to understand the real value of this team. It’s a really tough game, an important game. After this game there will be 15 games to finish the season. Liverpool are a team who can fight until the end to win the title.

‘Only through work can dreams happen. For us to stay on top of the league is a dream. If you remember our start, now we are doing very well.’

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