Full Interview: Conte talks about Morata injury, Batshuayi, Luiz to United, Musonda to leave and more

Update on David Luiz?

David has a big inflammation in his knee and we are trying to solve this situation with the doctor. It’s important to assess the situation day by day and to try solve this problem. I don’t know when he is able to come back with us, but for sure with the doctor and the medical department we are trying to solve the situation.

The situation is inflammation in his knee.

Is he doing any training?

For sure the player is working apart (from the main squad) in the last days was out to work in the pool and today he’s been on the pitch trying to run a bit but very slow. It’s a serious problem but we hope to solve this problem as soon as possible.

Reports of a meeting with David Luiz, how frustrated is he about not playing?

I think every player is frustrated when they don’t play especially when they have an injury. For sure there is frustration with the injury because every player wants to be in every training session and I understand because I was a player.

When I was injured my feeling was very bad. It was sad. You want to feel very well and then to be available for the competition, for the training session, and to be in contention for the competition. But injuries are part of their jobs.

Is Alvaro Morata available?

He is better, he trained with us two days ago and today. He has this pain in his back but is in contention for tomorrow’s game.

Comparisons to Didier Drogba

I think they are two different players, with two different characteristics. I think Didier Drogba brought the history of this club. He was a wonderful player, a wonderful striker. He was more powerful than Alvaro.

But Alvaro has a lot of room for improvement. He is strong physically, is a technical player and I see a great future for him.

Any more injury concerns for the Southampton game?

No new injuries, all my players are available for tomorrow’s game.

Thoughts on Southampton?

The game will be very difficult for us.

They are a good team with a lot of good players, young players, with a great future. For sure, I would prefer Southampton to win against Leicester, rather than lose in this way. I heard the interview from Pellegrino and we must pay great attention because this team is very strong, it’s a good team, the players are very fast

They can play very well on the counter attack With Austin, Redmond, Tadic, Long, Boufal.

My expectation is to suffer. We must pay great attention.

How do you see the bottom of the table?

This season we have dropped points, if you remember, against West Ham they were at the bottom of the table and we dropped points.

We dropped points against Crystal Palace who at the time was at the bottom of the table. We must pay great attention in every game because every game is difficult.

I am surprised to see Southampton in this position [six points from the relegation zone], their potentiality is more than this.

Where do Manchester City rank for you in terms of best ever Premier League team?

It is not a surprise for me, also maybe for you. At the start of the season, all the people said the league was between two contenders in Manchester. They are a great team. They were last season and during the transfer market they reached their first targets and have created an important team.

Man City is building a strong team to lead in Europe. They are a really good team, to have this 15 wins in a row you must say they’ve been lucky.

They won games in the final minutes. When you have this type of run, for sure, you must also be a bit lucky but they are deserving this, but at the same time we must find the right solution to contend the title. Not only us but Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Title race

Time is moving on, they continue to win.

In the last nine games we won seven games, drew one and lost one and the distance, the gap still improved for Manchester City. It is possible to draw away to Liverpool and lose one but now we are 14 points behind.

How hard is it to keep going?

We must go game by game and to look at ourselves because as i said before, tomorrow it won’t be easy to win the game and Manchester City know very well because they played (against Southampton) two games ago and solved the situation only in the 96th minute.

Is that why you expect to suffer against Southampton?

When you have a bad defeat like against Leicester, there is great attention for the opponent, coach and club. They don’t want to continue their bad run and they want to give a great answer against Chelsea.

Role for Michy Batshuayi?

He is part of my squad.

Is he ready to start?

He was out for three weeks, he had a problem with his ankle. Then he struggled a bit to find the right physical condition, now he is starting to stay in good form and if you compare the games he’s playing this season to last season, he’s playing and he didn’t play 90 minutes because he was injured.

Don’t forget he played in the Community Shield and we started the season with him. I try to make the best decision for the team and when I decide the formation the last part i see is the head.

Meeting over January targets?

It is right to have a meeting with the club about the transfer market in January but, as you know very well, I am a coach. For the transfer market it is the club, you have to ask the club.

Specific targets?

I can give my opinion, but the last decision is with the club.

Could Musonda leave on loan in January?

I’m happy for him because it was right to sign a new contract, and the club took the right decision on this. The player the same.

The player took the right decision to sign a new contract with the club. Then, for his future, the club and the player will take the right decision.

Hazard playing as a false nine?

We played in this system last season very well.

It can be a good option, because you don’t give a point of reference to the opponent. You can play with three players who are very good technically, also very fast, good in 1v1, creative players.

To play in this way you must have a good balance, If our two strikers want to sacrifice without the ball to give us the right balance then yes this could be a good option for the present and the future. It’s very important to understand that to play three strikers with these characteristics we need to have a good balance.

Otherwise you risk losing the game, risk counter attacks and I don’t want to risk that. My players know very well what I want.

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