Friday, 22 December 2017

Full interview: Conte talks about Everton game, Morata, Hazard, Kenedy, Team News and more


Good afternoon and welcome to Cobham where Antonio Conte is set to speak to the media ahead of his side’s trip to Everton.

After sealing a late 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup last night courtesy of Alvaro Morata’s goal, the Blues return to league action with a trip to Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime.

The Toffees, who recently appointed Sam Allardyce as Ronald Koeman’s successor, are in good form at the moment and they sealed a 3-1 win over Swansea City on Monday night.

Games on Merseyside are usually close between the teams, although the Blues secured a 3-0 win at Goodison last season that pretty much guaranteed the league title.

With Morata now suspended for the game after picking up a booking when celebrating his winner, Conte will no doubt be asked plenty of questions about the Spaniard and Michy Batshuayi.

Find all the updates from the Italian in the live blog below when he speaks to the media at 1.15pm.

Team news

Only problem is Morata with the yellow card. It’s a big loss.

On the yellow card

I must be honest, we were enjoying the goal. I didn’t see the situation. I knew he tried to celebrate with the ball under his shirt. It’s a pity. We have to accept the decision.

More on the booking

It’s important to see what happened. If the referee booked him because he put the ball up his shirt, it’s a pity. You’re showing your joy.

Plans for Everton

Now I have to prepare a different plan. I have different options and I have another day to make the best decision for the game. Every single player is in good form. This game is very important for us. I’d like to spend a good Christmas with a good win. We know the last five games, Everton have won four of them. They’re in good form.

Conte on Ampadu

Ampadu is part of this squad, not from the start of the season, but after one month. He trains everyday with us. I have to make the best decision. He played against Huddersfield and from the start against Bournemouth in an important game.

Keeping Amapdu’s feet on the ground

I think this player is very humble and despite his age he keeps his feet on the ground. I’m sure this player won’t lose his head. He’s shown great maturity and personality.

On the semi-final draw

It’s a big game for us and Arsenal. When you reach the semi-final you must be ready to face a big team. We must be ready for a tough game. Arsenal are a good team.

Revenge for FA Cup final defeat?

Last season we were able to win the league and reach the final of the FA Cup. It was a great achievement but I would’ve liked to have won the FA Cup.

More on Everton

They’re a really good team and have a good squad. They’ve won four of their last give games and have good form and confidence at the moment. It’s not simple to play away at Everton. We want three points and carry on our good form.

On the Luiz and Kenedy rumours

A difficult period is starting for every coach. There are a lot of rumours. Some are true and some are wrong. We must be ready to face this situation. We’d like to improve the squad if possible. We must be ready to face all these rumours.

Conte’s Christmas wish

Our task is to try and give the best satisfaction for our fans. We will put all our strength to try and give this to our fans. I can promise this.

Can you enjoy Christmas?

It’s not simple to enjoy Christmas if you have to work! At the same time, it’s amazing to play in this type of atmosphere.

More on transfers

I prefer to talk with the club about this topic to find the best solution for the team. If there’s a possibility to improve the squad, it will be a good choice. At the same time I am enjoying coaching these players. I am ready to continue with all these players.

Hazard to Manchester United?

There are a lot of rumours and we have to live with this. My players are focused on this period and go game by game.

That’s it from Conte

The boss has finished speaking to the media

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