Chelsea boss Antonio Conte confirmed his players and him are focused just on the present, to fight for the title and the FA Cup.
Monday night clash against Middlesbrough will be especially tough because Boro are fighting to survive.
Speaking about injuries he revealed that he’s got a couple of concerns with important players when asked if Courtois was ok for the next game:
“Courtois trained today and I don’t see any problem about him. We are trying to see the situation, also about David Luiz and Kante, I have time to make the right decision. I have to check the situation to take the best decision.
“Kante has got a muscular injury, in his thigh.
“Our plan is to continue to work very hard to prepare for these final games, and also for the FA Cup final against Arsenal. This part of the season is not easy, every game is very tough, there is a lot of pressure, it’s difficult to recover. We are ready to face these four games.”
Asked if he will watch Tottenham match against West Ham tonight, he said:
“I don’t know if I will watch the game [ Spurs] because my wife and my daughter are in London, so maybe we will have a dinner together.”
Asked about Diego Costa’s future, he said:
“I don’t know about this, now it’s very important for every single person to be focused on Chelsea, the present is more important, we have 5 games until the end and we have to prepare for those.
“We haven’t discussed his future, because it’s not the most important thing now.
Speculations can distract players in this delicate moment of the year:
“I am not worried about this, I see my players every day and I can see the right concentration, the right focus, you have the chance to reach a fantastic target for us, to win the Premier League and play the FA Cup final, two big targets for us, they are very important. Speculations or news are not important.
“I repeat the same concept about him and about every single player for the future.”
Asked if these speculations were unsettling, he said:
“This part of the season it’s normal to cope with these speculations. Sometimes you can find the truth, other times it’s not.”
Speaking about Middlesbrough clash, he said:
“We must play a great game to try to get the three points, because this game is very important. With only three games to go it’s important to win, it won’t be easy because boro are fighting to survive in the league.”
“It’s normal when you stay in a great club to try to win the title and you must cope with pressure, every single player or the coach or club have good experience to face this moment.
Conte was also asked if, should he win the Premier League title, this will this be the greatest achievement of his career
“For sure to reach this result is a great achievement for sure, I hope to arrive to the end of the season with my players and club to celebrate something important for this season.
It won’t be easy until the end.
Middlesbrough are in the relegation zone and desperate to survive in the Premier League, asked if this game will be particularly tough for this reason, the Italian tactician said:
“In this case there are two teams with desperation to find the result. For us it’s the same, we have to win because Spurs are very close.”
Speculations of Conte moving to Inter next summer continues in Italy, ChelseaNews24 asked him if this annoyes or distract him:
“It’s the same. It’s the same speech for my players. The same for me. We must stay with great concentration until the end. I repeat: there is this great target, close, and for this reason I think we must think in the present. In the present. At this part of the season there are a lot of speculations about my players, also about me, but it’s not important. Not important, this. The most important thing now is to try and reach our target.”
The Blues boss explained also the importance of Cesc Fabregas:
“Fabregas is playing very well this season, his level is very high. He’s got a great commitment, great work during all the season, he’s playing very well, he’s a top player. Wether he starts the game or enter later, his contribution is important.”
Conte was asked if he can keep Cesc happy by just starting him now and again, a player of that calibre and if he could he become a leader in the absence of John Terry:
“Yeah… but I like to underline a concept, that I mustn’t keep the players happy. We must win. Because you can be happy at the right time, and to play every game. If you are unhappy in this season, when you are fighting for the title or to win the FA Cup, I think I don’t like when I listen to this type of questions. No, I don’t like. You speak about ‘happy’. I speak about ‘to win’ and to work very hard. I know that to work very hard is not simple. Players are not always happy to work very hard. But I think my target is to put in the mind of my players a winning mentality, and a winning mentality doesn’t have to keep the players happy. It’s very difficult to keep 20 players happy, above all because I don’t want to. I don’t want this. I want players ready to fight and to try to put themselves in the team, to try to win together. If you are happy or unhappy, I don’t care. It’s important to pass this concept, you understand?”
Conte was also asked if he will take the decision to ban the social media in the 48 hours previous to a game, like Jose Mourinho did at Manchester United:
“In social media I am a disaster, this topic is not simple to face, every single person must uses the social media in the right way, with balance. I think when you don’r have a good balance in using them is always dangerous. Especially when you are on holidays, bulglars can go to your house.”