Antonio Conte claims Chelsea have to remain with feet on the ground in the approach of the new season.
The Blues lost their last two games of the Asian tour against Bayern Munich ( 2-3) and Inter ( 1-2) and the Italian manager is concerned his side can repeat the two years ago debacle, with Chelsea dropping to relegation zone in a couple months as defending Premier League champions:
“We know that it will be difficult next season, and we want to avoid the previous season after winning the league. Two years ago, the team finished 10th place in the league and we want to avoid this.
“Two coaches were sacked from Chelsea after they won the league. I want to avoid, and the players want to avoid, the last season with Mourinho.“
New £60 million striker Alvaro Morata was given his first start against Inter but struggled to make an impression and was replaced in the second half.
“Morata is starting now and he has to improve his condition a lot. He is working very well and has been with us only five days. Today, he tried to do his best, but for sure, he has to improve.”
About a possible strike partnership with Morata and Michy Batshuayi, Conte said:
“Now, it is necessary because we don’t have other players.”
Conte admits the tight schedule has been tough on his players, but he insists the experience in Singapore made a very positive impression.
“We played against two strong teams in Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in a very important period for us because we are working very hard.
“But to play three games with the same players means we are tired, very tired.
“We must be pleased about the atmosphere and our fans because to find so many Chelsea fans in China and Singapore is great and I think this is big responsibility for us. We have a lot of supporters all over the world and in Singapore there was a fantastic atmosphere.
“I want to thank all of our fans because they were fantastic. We saw a lot of fans a the hotel, waiting for the players’ autographs and photos. I think this is a big responsibility for us.”
The future of Nemanja Matic remains uncertain, this is how Conte replied on this matter:
“I know nothing about this. You have to ask the club.”
The Italian coach was also asked for his thoughts on the incredible long-range own goal that Geoffrey Kondogbia scored in Chelsea’s favour.
“It can happen. People who play football know very well that this kind of thing can happen.”