Conference Call: We have to fight
news Wed 31 Jan 2018
It was a disappointing end to the month for Antonio Conte’s side as we were beaten at Stamford Bridge for the first time since the end of September.
Bournemouth scored three second-half goals in the space of 16 minutes leaving the Blues, who lost Andreas Christensen to injury, unable to find a route back into the game.
‘It was a tough night but if you remember, I predicted this tough night yesterday during the press conference,’ said Conte. ‘To have this capacity to look forward, and not only one metre (in front), I said it would be very tough for a lot of reasons and it happened, but now we have to move on to the next game.
‘The players tried to do their best, honestly. The commitment of the players was great but despite this we lost the game and it was a bad defeat. Football is not simple, you have to prepare for every situation in every game, every season. Now the most important thing is to understand we have to fight. This season will be very tough and we must be ready to struggle for everything.’
Conte was asked if Michy Batshuayi’s departure on loan to Borussia Dortmund affected his planning for the game?
‘Now it would be very simple to find excuses and that’s not the right way. For sure we made a lot of mistakes together. When we win, we win together and when we lose, we lose together.
The Italian also spoke about Christensen’s injury
‘We played other games without Christensen, with Cahill in the middle of the defence, and we won and didn’t concede goals. Injuries are part of the game. I think it’s not right to look for excuses, we have to try to solve the situation and to think that only through work you can solve the situation.
‘I think it’s a hamstring problem for Christensen but I don’t know the severity, we have to wait one or two days for him to have a clinical exam.’
He was also asked how far away David Luiz is from being available for selection
‘I don’t know, he had a problem in his ankle. Today he started a training session with a physical coach.’
Conte said he isn’t concerned about any external pressure
‘About the pressure, it’s normal for a coach and manager. It’s normal if you are Chelsea’s coach. After the first game of the season you (the media) tried to put pressure on my job. I’m trying to do my best. We are giving everything, 120 per cent and I think I’m exploiting this squad at the maximum level.
‘But if someone doesn’t agree I’m here and I have to accept every situation. I’m very relaxed about this because I’m doing a great job, me and the staff with the players.’
He explained why there is plenty of work still to be done if we are to qualify for next season’s Champions League
‘We must be worried because it won’t be easy, but this is normal. It won’t be easy for this season. We have to fight, we must be prepared to fight. I’m ready and I think the players are starting to understand that this season we have to struggle for a place in the Champions League.
'The players, until now, are at the very top for their commitment and behaviour because if they weren’t our position in the table would be worse.
‘We know very well it will be very difficult for us. If we want to dream but not see the reality, I will tell you we could fight to win the title. If we are able to reach a place in the Champions League it will be a great success for us, otherwise we will have a normal season.’