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Conte blames fixtures
10.30: Antonio Conte has blamed the fixture scheduling for his side’s poor performance against Leicester.
Chelsea were shut out for the third game in a row and the Italian thinks his players are being asked too much of.
“I think to find an excuse or alibi, today we paid for our effort against Arsenal,” said Conte.
“To play on Wednesday and then against a really good, physical team like Leicester, after only two days, is tough. We played with almost the same players as we did against Arsenal.
“My plan was to play with one team against Norwich and then these last two games with the same team. I saw a lot of players who were very tired.
“We suffered a lot in the first half and at the start of the second half. When I decided to put on fresh energy (Pedro and Willian) the game changed. We tried to create chances to score without suffering defensively and win the game, but in the end I think the result was fair.”
10.15: Jose Mourinho is ready to sanction a £53m bid to sign Alex Sandro from Juventus.
Chelsea have been linked with the defender but United could make the first move.
United have been looking at their left-back options with uncertainty over Luke Shaw remaining despite his return to action.
And the Mirror claim a move for Sandro is in motion but may not come until the summer.
Conte backs Morata
10.00: Antonio Conte has backed Alvaro Morata to re-find his form after another game without a goal.
Morata haas not scored in five games since the turn of the year and looks low on confidence.
But Conte insists he is not the only one mis-firing.
“I think the problem is for the team, not only for Morata,” Conte said.
“Compared to last season, we are conceding less and showing great solidity defensively. But, at the same time, we are not showing great quality in our finishing. This is the truth.
But not only for Morata. Defenders have had chances from corners, and we’ve not taken those chances to score. We have to try to improve on this aspect.
“But the problem is not only for Morata or [Michy] Batshuayi when he plays. It’s for all the team. We have to try and improve our quality in the finishing in the last third.”
He added: “This is not a problem with the system. In both systems we are conceding less but, with both systems, we are scoring less than last season.
“We have to try to improve on this aspect. The situation is very clear. We must improve, to shoot from outside (the box), and improve if we want to score and to win.
“As I said in the last press conference, if you don’t score, if you are lucky not to concede, the game finishes 0-0.”