Conte: Focused and committed

Antonio Conte says he will wait to assess the fitness of some of his players before deciding on the starting line-up for tomorrow’s game against Watford at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian spoke to the media at Cobham this afternoon, looking ahead to a fixture in which the Blues will hope to return to winning ways following a couple of disappointing results in the Premier League.

He was asked if he could provide any updates regarding player availability.

‘Honestly, at the moment, I can tell you nothing about the starting 11 for tomorrow,’ Conte responded.

‘We have many doubts. I hope in the next 24 hours to try to recover some players.’

Our opponents, under the guidance of Marco Silva, have enjoyed a strong start to the season, with last weekend’s 2-1 win over Arsenal taking them up to fourth in the table.

‘Watford are doing very well, they had a really good transfer market and strengthened the squad very well,’ said Conte.

‘For sure, tomorrow the game will be very tough because Watford are a good team, they are in a good position in the table and have enthusiasm. But we are playing at home and after two defeats in the league we want to come back and win.

‘I’m pleased for the Pozzo family, I know them and I know they have great knowledge of football. I’m happy for them but for sure tomorrow we want to try to beat them.

‘Our priority is to be focused and to go game by game, the opponent is not important. Every opponent can be dangerous for different reasons.’

Conte said the fact we are playing three matches every week means the team are unable to do as much work on the tactical and physical aspect as they would like. Despite recent results, however, he is pleased with the attitude of his players.

‘We are doing everything to try to win games,’ he said. ‘The players’ effort and commitment has been very positive against Manchester City and Roma, but it’s important to win and we are working to try to do that.

‘At the moment, after two defeats in a row, I’m happy with the commitment of all of my players, but if you ask me about the last results, I’m not happy. After two defeats and one draw no coach can be happy.

‘Do I feel the pressure? Every manager feels pressure, but I try to give all of myself into my job, so I’m happy when I go home because I know in every moment I give all of myself for the fans, the players and the club. In football you know anything can happen, but the most important thing is to work.’

The Italian, who said his methods on the training pitch are the same as they were last season, was also asked whether he regretted responding to comments made by Jose Mourinho in midweek.

‘Do I regret it?’ he said. ‘Why? Every manager must talk about himself, his team and his players, not the others.

‘Every coach must be focused on their own work and their own complaints, that’s the best way. For me this is a stupid subject, but it’s fun to see your interest.’

Following the decision to start David Luiz in midfield against Roma on Wednesday, Conte also explained why, in an ideal world, he wouldn’t change the positions of his players.

‘I’m not happy to change the role of my players because everybody has their own role, but sometimes you have to adapt and you must be ready for this, that’s normal,’ he said.