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Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is confident ahead of Red Devils’ clash against Chelsea in the F.A. Cup Quarter-Finals.

The Belgium international claimed: “Of course Hazard and Courtois are confident, but let’s go there and see what we can do”.

Chelsea beat Manchester United 4-0 in October at Stamford Bridge, but Fellaini believes his side can bounce back from that defeat: “Obviously we lost there a few months ago, but now it is the FA Cup, a new game and a different competition”.

Then he ended: “It will be tight. They are top of the league, they have confidence, they have great players, but we will show our quality there and see what happens.”

 

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola won February’s Premier League Manager of the Month award and joked that Antonio Conte‘s cupboard was full enough to find space for another trophy.

The Citizens boss said after winning the award: “I think Conte’s cupboard is full enough and they couldn’t fit any more in, so they decided to give it to somebody else!”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was named three times in a row Manager of the Month (in November, December and January) but Guardiola beat the Italian boss this month.

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Eden Hazard won the February Goal of the Month with his solo run against Arsenal yesterday.

The Belgium international has joked he will need to change home for all his awards.

“I give some of the trophies to my father in Belgium. I have a couple of ones in the garage, – Hazard told Chelsea TV – I don’t know, I need to change my home for a bigger one I think. No I joke. It’s always good to get trophies, especially when you win games.”

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Chelsea manager José Mourinho thanks the fans for their support during the game against Porto © Francesca Ceciarini

Ex Chelsea boss José Mourinho spoke about next Monday clash against his former club at Stamford Bridge, where he will be back for the second time as a rival after being appointed as the Manchester United manager.

The Red Devils played the first Europa League last 16 game against Rostov Thursday night in Russia and travelled back after the game, but Mourinho reckons this was not the best condition for a team that have to face such an important match:

“We have three days and we have to travel,” Mourinho told MUTV.

“We have to go to London. It’s really hard. We don’t have Zlatan, of course not, but we go with everything we have. We don’t put a [weakened] team out like some clubs sometimes, Manchester United cannot do that.

“We know this Europa League is very important for us, and the FA Cup is beautiful. We cannot go there with a [Reserve] team, we’ll try to manage it within our squad and get a good team to compete with them.

“Manchester United is Manchester United; it’s the winner of this competition. It’s not Chelsea’s fault we were given this Monday match. We’ll make changes, as we played on Thursday, but we cannot go to Chelsea with a [Reserve] team.”

“We want to keep two doors open,” Jose added.

“We have to keep getting points in the Premier League to keep our chances open and if we get through the knock-out round here, we’re in the quarter-finals and feel the door is open, so we have to try.

“We have a trophy in our pocket, which is a good feeling for everyone. Now we have the Premier League for the fight for the top four and we have the Europa League fight for Rostov.”

On the topic of his latest return to Stamford Bridge, the United manager added:

Chelsea? It’s no different. Obviously before the game and after the game, I’ll meet some fans and some people I like. The relation with the fans was always good but, for me, it’s just professional.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was still not clear about his future: the Italian boss signed a three-year-contract with the Blues one year ago, that means the deal will run until 2019.

Anyway, last week speculations were claiming Conte and his entourage were approached by Inter, that offered the ex Juventus coach a big deal for the next seasons, a thing that the Blues boss dismissed during a press conference one week ago.

Surprisingly, Conte was not clear when asked about his future today, ahead of an important clash like the FA Cup one against Manchester United:

“I am the first one to be be focused on the present, when the moment will arrive I will speak with the club,” the Italian claimed.

“It’s important to be focused on the present. I don’t think anyone spoke with the club.”

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Antonio conte still doesn’t know if the next ones will be the last months of John Terry as a Chelsea player.

The captain, that will be 37 in December, has not put the pen on a new deal yet, and everything will be discussed in the of the season:

The clash against Manchester United on Monday night could be John Terry’s last game in FA Cup at Stamford Bridge:

I hope it’s not his last FA Cup game at Stamford Bridge, I hope not but I don’t know,” Conte said speaking to the press.

“There will be a right time at the end of the season for this kind of things.”

About the rumours of Terry leaving in the end of this season, he said:

“He’s doing a great job on and off the pitch, for me he’s very important, he’s the captain, he’s working very well and he’s heping me a lot in the changing room. For sure he’s an important player for us.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte knows that to beat Manchester United in FA Cup Monday night clash won’t be as easy as it was last October, when the Blues smashed the Red Devils with a 4-0 win.

First of all, the Italian manager gave team news:

“All my players are available.

“JT will play? I have to decide the starting XI but for sure I will try to make the best decision for the team, we want to go next round and we have to beat Man United.”

Asked if this could be John Terry’s last game in FA Cup at Stamford Bridge:

“I hope it’s not his last FA Cup game at Stamford Bridge, I hope not but I don’t know. There will be a right time at the end of the season for this kind of things.”

About the rumours of Terry leaving in the end of this season, he said:

“He’s doing a great job on and off the pitch, for me he’s very important, he’s the captain, he’s working very well and he’s heping me a lot in the changing room. For sure he’s an important player for us.”

During October’s match Jose’ Mourinho was annoyed by Conte’s arousing the crowd on 3-0, a gesture that the Italian always explained with his bursting passion in the dugout, and today he explained again it was not a lack of respect, but just a normal behaviour for him:

“In every team I managed I showed my passion and I want share both this and my enthusiasm with my fans, my club. Anyway, for me me the most important thing is to try to win.”

Asked if he spoke to Mourinho in the past months, he said:

“I didn’t speak to Jose but it’s not important, we have nothing to clarify.”

Conte was also asked if the absence of Ibrahimovic, who got a 3-game-ban, could be an advantage for Chelsea in this game:

“I can tell you if this is an advantage for us after the game. I hope we can show in the pitch that we can beat them, I prefer to be focused on the game.”

About his future, Conte said:

“I am the first one to be be focused on the present, when the moment will arrive I will speak with the club. It’s important to be focused on the present. I don’t think anyone spoke with the club.”

About Arsene Wenger’s difficult moment at Arsenal, he said:

“It’s not an easy moment for him, but we are talking about a great manager. I guess he did very well in 20 years at Arsenal, every year Arsenal was competing in Champions League and inn England this is not easy, in this season you have to fight with six teams, next season will be probably seven or eight teams. In the past he won with Arsenal but I think he deserves respect for his past and his work.”

Asking if Mourinho’s mind games could help him to win more, Conte replied:

“The most important thing is the pitch. You have to prepare your team, you need to have a good organization, it’s the most important thing for me and for every coach. My players and I are very focused on the pitch, on our work, to improve every day. Mind games don’t bring you to win, you have just to be focused on the pitch.”

About the speculations of Chelsea players moving during next summer, Conte stated:

“In this moment there are a lot of speculations about the players, we are doing a good job, with my players, with my staff, we are doing very well and it’s important to continue this way. Don’t forget Chelsea are a great team that would like to keep great players.”

Despite beating them 4-0 in autumn, Conte reckons Man United are still a great team:

“In October before the game I was sure to face a great team, and the same I think now, I guess Manchester United got the best squad in PL along with Man City in term of numbers, they got many options, [they got] players used to win, for sure it will be a tough game, for us and them.
In October we didn’t know our future, now we are a team, we have a good identity, we are showing a good football, for sure it will be a tough game against them.”

Asked if he would like to complete a double in his first season, he said:

“First of all we have to win: now it’s very difficult to tell if I would like to do a double, there are eleven games to go and we need 24 points, for us it’s important to go game by game, in the league and also in the FA Cup, we want to go to the next round, it will be very difficult but we would like to go. Until now we didn’t win anything.”

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It’s Eden Hazard’s solo run and finish into the net vs Arsenal February Goal of the month according to the Premier League.

The Blues player defeated other seven goals which had been nominated to receive the award.

“It is always good to win trophies”. – Hazard said to Chelsea official website – “It is not my most important target to win Goal of the Month, I want to win big trophies at the end of the season, but it is something I can say in few years’ time to my kids that I scored a beautiful goal against Arsenal. It means a lot for the fans and for us, because it was a derby and we won the game. That is the most important thing in football, that you win the game if you score a fantastic goal, and I hope to score more goals like this.”

 

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Manchester United manager José Mourinho has confirmed his side ‘won’t go with a Nicky Butt team’ (Butt is the Academy Squad head coach) on Monday Night against Chelsea, in the F.A. Cup Quarter-Finals

“We cannot go with Nicky Butt’s team. Manchester United is too big. Manchester United is the winner of the competition. – the manager said – It is not Chelsea’s fault that we were given this Monday match, so we have to make changes for sure because we play Thursday against Rostov and they play Sunday against Terek Grozny”.

“But we cannot go to Stamford Bridge with a Nicky Butt team.” Mourinho added.

 

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Manchester United manager José Mourinho, speaking after the Europa League clash against Rostov in Russia, claimed that midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still in doubt for their next F.A. Cup Quarter-Final against Chelsea.

“We know he cannot play 90 minutes, – Mourinho said – We knew he would only play 60 minutes – it doesn’t matter the final result, we made that decision together as he is not in the best condition”. 

“We gave him freedom to play in attacking positions with Zlatan, to try to find spaces to score. He did well and managed to finish the game without injury, which is important for us.”

Chelsea are set to face the Red Devils on March 13th at Stamford Bridge.

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