Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke ahead the important derby against Spurs and revealed that he’s got a couple of players in the “medical room”, since John Terry and John Obi Mikel picked up muscular injuries during the week:
“Terry got a muscular injury, it’s in his gluteus, and he will be out about two-three weeks. John Obi Mikel got a muscular injury as well.
“Is JT’s injury frustrating for the team and me? It’s important for him to recover from his injury. It’s a pity because he recovered really well from last injury and now he has to restart again. It was during the U23 game or the day after.
“I watched the match Chelsea and Tottenham played in May at Stamford Bridge, it was a very strange game because in the first half Spurs played very well, on the second half it was another game and Chelsea played very well.
“For us it’s very important to think about the present, last season they [Spurs] fought until the end to win the title, and their squad improved respect to last season. I am pushing my players to be focused.
“Tomorrow it’s important to win the game, to play a good football, the passion has to be present in the right way. I hope tomorrow we can see a good game with two good teams.
“My players must be very focused because the game is very tough, Tottenham is one of the strongest teams of this league.
“Our behaviour in the dugout has to always be perfect, as the manager I have different view and attitude during the game, but always in the right way, always respecting the game, the fans, and the other team.
Rumours claimed that Barcelona are keen on Victor Moses, since they are looking for a new right back.
The Italian manager was asked if he wanted to give the Nigerian player a contract extension to prevent him to accept other clubs’ offers:
“It’s important to be focused game by game, now we are doing very well, I like to think that my players look at the present, not at the future or so long-term, after a tough period we won six games in a row, now it’s important to work and to think about the present, not to the future. There is the right time for everything.”
Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from played football yesterday, here’s Conte’s opinion about him:
“Gerrard was a fantastic player, a legend for Liverpool and national team, it’s a logical when a player retires we’re all a little sad, but he showed how to be a great player.
“We know that tomorrow we will have a tough game against a strong team, tomorrow it will be another game, in the league, it will be a special derby for both teams.
“Willian has to find a good form again, in this period he was unlucky, and it’s important now to be focused on the work, in the training session, he’s important for us, I count on him.”
Fabregas, Terry and Zouma played in the Chelsea Under 23 side during the week and Conte was present at the game:
“I saw a great attitude of the senior players in the U23 game.”
Conte was asked about John Obi Mikel’s future, since many rumours put the Nigerian midfielder out of Chelsea already in the January transfer window:
“I don’t know his future, but as I’ve already said we must focus on the present.
“I see the players very happy to play this way, it’s important to continue to work and to improve.”
ChelseaNews24 asked Conte if Kurt Zouma is ready to play now and if he can have a chance now that John Terry is injured again if someone is needed in the defence:
“Kurt is playing with continuity with the youth team and he’s training with continuity, now it’s important to find the right form and to let him understand this new idea of football and tactics. It’s important to go day by day.”