Focused on the present
EN:news Focused on the present
Antonio Conte says he has been fully focused on the present while preparing for this afternoon’s trip to Swansea and has revealed how the Chelsea players are giving their all to ensure there is no repeat of last season’s disappointing campaign.
Our recent games against the Swans include our 5-0 win over them in 2014/15 and last term’s draw and defeat but the head coach insisted that concentrating on the here and now is far more relevant.
‘I showed the players the games Swansea played against Burnley, Hull and Leicester this season,” he said. ‘We know that it won’t be an easy game. We are prepared for this aspect and we have worked very hard to arrive in the best condition because we know it will be very tough.
‘We are working very, very hard to improve on last season. We all know that last season was bad for many reasons and now we are working very hard to not repeat the same situation of last season.
‘I’m finding the players want to work very hard and don’t want to repeat last season and I think that is important.
‘I don’t want to speak about the past, I want to speak about the present. If you ask me about Swansea, I can tell you that we don’t repeat the defeat of the last season because, for me, the present is important, and to build something important for the future.
‘It is important to focus in the present and to work very hard because this is my make-up – to work very hard to achieve good results.’
Conte also spoke about a player whose present form is extremely encouraging for Blues fans. Diego Costa netted a brace for Spain in an 8-0 thrashing of Liechtenstein last Monday to take his tally to four goals in as many games for club and country this term. He was full of praise for our No.19 and reiterated his desire to see him harness his passion in the right way.
‘I watched the Liechtenstein game and he played a good game. Diego is a player where every game he puts all of himself in the game and I appreciate this a lot.
‘I want him to play with the right passion and the right aggression. He must always transfer his emotion on the pitch in the right way. Diego is a good guy and a player who is very important for the team. I tell him to transfer his passion and enthusiasm in the right way and this will be good for me.'
Kurt Zouma is nearing the end of his recovery from a serious knee injury sustained last season and the defender has received words of encouragement from the Italian in charge.
‘For Chelsea, Zouma is not only the future, he is the present and we are waiting for his recovery. He is a good player – very young and he can improve a lot.
‘He is recovering, he’s in good shape, but I think he needs a bit of time to come back to play, because he has to train with us every day, but I am pleased to see he is improving a lot. I repeat, I am waiting for Zouma with great happiness.’
Conte added that he is delighted to have more competition for places, with David Luiz and Marcos Alonso bolstering our rearguard, and he only sees this as a positive thing.
‘When you are at a great club, it is normal that you have good competition because it is impossible to think that you can only have four defenders and to only play with these defenders.
'Not only in a great club, but in all the teams, it is important to have six, seven or eight defenders and to have your choice every game and to understand who deserves to play. Then I make my choice, but I don’t see any problem and I don’t want to see any problem with my players.’
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