Chelsea manager Conte admits red cards could prompt re-think
14 August, 2017, 00:23 | Author: Douglas Reid
Antonio Conte denied that his team sheet was intended as any kind of message to the Chelsea hierarchy after a lineup stocked with kids on the bench and a 20-year-old making his first start lost to Burnley on the opening day of their title defence.
The Blues have signed four players for a combined £129m, but have seen a greater number leave, including John Terry and Nemanja Matic.
"You can see that in every friendly game I always played the best formation and I did the same today". I am not anxious, I am ready to fight with these players. We need to work because next week we have a tough opponent.
He brushed aside questions about reported tension with Chelsea's board over signing new players and said he was not anxious because three key players - Eden Hazard, Pedro and Victor Moses - could return from injury and suspension for Chelsea's next game against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
The recruitment of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco, striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma and former Manchester City keeper Willy Caballero fills the gaps vacated by this quartet.
Having also sold Nathan Ake to Bournemouth and loaned fellow defender Kurt Zouma to Stoke, the suspension of Cahill will further deplete Conte's resources. However, David Luiz ensured a tense finish when he volleyed home in the 88th after being teed up by the influential Morata.
"The red card [for Cahill] was the key moment", Conte told BBC Sport. It's a big win for us, even with 10 men they're a fine side. Then the game changed.
He said: "We just lost our heads".
"But our first half we kept losing our heads - after the red card we lost our heads a bit, conceded three goals and then it's very hard to change the final result".
"It was a pity because our fight in the second half was very good", Conte said.
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