With the first home win of the season under his belt, Antonio Conte had plenty of praise for his team’s first half especially, and he also spoke of his total commitment to Chelsea.
In Sunday lunchtime’s game, new signing Alvaro Morata added his second goal for Chelsea to the well-established Cesc Fabregas’s opener for a 2-0 lead at half-time over Everton. A solid display at the back ensured that was the score at full-time too, giving the side its first shut-out of the campaign as well…
For sure we must be pleased with the performance,’ stated Conte when he spoke after the game.
‘We dominated and created many chances to score and I saw many positive things - great concentration and great focus and the will to finish this game with a clean sheet, and it was very important for us.
‘If I have to see a little negative aspect, it is that in the second half we could have been more clinical and scored the third goal to definitely close the game. Instead continuing to stay at 2-0, if from a set-play you concede one goal then you have to finish a game you dominated with a bit of fear.’
The Chelsea boss did have some sympathy for the schedule Everton were on, with a midweek trip to Croatia hard on the heels of a Monday night outing leading up to this game…
‘Everton is a really strong team but they played three games in seven days and it is not easy, also because they played very tough games against Man City and then a qualification match into the Europa League, and it is very important for a club to play in Europe for the season.
‘Then to play against us after our defeat at home in the first game, it was not easy for Everton today but in this case you must be really focused and play the game in the right way and we did this really well, but for sure to play three games in seven days is not easy.’
The first international break of the season is now upon us and looking forward to events in the coming days, Conte had an update on Eden Hazard’s call-up by Belgium while the player is working back to fitness following his ankle fracture…
‘I had a conversation with [Belgium manager] Roberto Martinez yesterday and I think now it could be positive for Eden to go with the national team and have the training sessions, and then maybe to have the possibility to play a part of the game with Gibraltar.
‘I told Roberto if I can help him I am ready to do this. In my past I was a coach of a national team and I know very well that this task is not easy but also for Eden, I talked with him and he is happy to go. He is the Belgium captain and the most important thing is to continue to work and improve and then after the international break, to have the possibility to have him on the bench and to start to think of him as a new player for Chelsea this season.’
Speaking of new players, Conte also considered the closing of the transfer window which is another major event this coming week…
‘There are four days to go in the transfer market and the club is working very hard to try to improve our squad. In September we have to play seven games and I need to rotate my players because it is very difficult to play seven games in the month with the same players. The club is working very hard to strengthen the squad. They know very well what is our situation but I am ready for every case, and to continue to work with this group of players we have.
‘My message for the fans is always the same. I am totally committed to the club and to improve my players and my team. I am a coach, not a manager and the best of my work is on the pitch. Then for sure when you want to strengthen your squad, you have to give your opinion by speaking to your club. Then the club go to the transfer market to try to solve the situation and to help us. Sometimes it is possible and sometimes it is not possible. I must be focused on the pitch and to continue to work with my players.’