That was a tough night
“Tough night, but if you remember very well, I predicted this tough night yesterday during the press conference. To have this capacity to look forward, if you remember, I said it would be very, very tough for a lot of reasons. It happened, it happened. But now we have to move on and see the next game.”
Was the Batshuayi move disruptive for you?
“No but now it would be very simple to find a lot of excuses, a lot of alibis. This is not the right way. Also because I don’t want to give excuses or alibis. For sure we made a lot of mistakes. For sure. Together. When we win, we win together. When we lose, we lose together.”
You must have expected more intensity?
“More intensity… I think the players tried to do their best. Honestly. The commitment of the players was great. But, despite this, we lost. We lost the game.
“It was a bad defeat. But football is not simple. You have to prepare, to study, and then to try and prepare for every situation, every game, every season. Now the most important thing is to understand we have to fight. This season will be very tough. We must be ready to struggle this season for everything.”
Was the key Christensen’s injury?
“We played other games without Christensen. With Cahill in the middle of the defence. We won and didn’t concede a goal. Injuries are a part of the game. I think it’s not right to find excuses.
“This is not the right way to rectify or solve the situation. Only through work can you solve the situation.
“I think this is a hamstring problem for Christensen, but I don’t know the extent of his injury. We have to wait one day, two days, three days to have a clinical examination.”
Is David Luiz close to a return?
“I don’t know, I don’t know, because he had a problem in his ankle. Today he started the training session with the physical coach.”
Glad you brought in Giroud and Emerson?
“Yeah but I don’t think now is the right moment to speak about Giroud and Emerson, especially after a bad defeat.”
He could have made a difference?
Yeah, I hope, I hope, I hope.”
Is the pressure on you?
“But I think, about the pressure, it’s normal. It’s normal for a coach, for a manager. It’s normal if you are Chelsea’s coach. After the first game this season, you tried to put pressure on my job.
“But I’m trying to do my best. If someone doesn’t think this club deserves this table [position] or deserve this situation. I repeat: we are doing everything, we are doing 120%.
“I’m exploiting this squad at the maximum level. But, if someone doesn’t agree about this, I’m here. I have to accept every situation. I’m very relaxed about this. I know that I’m doing a great job, a great work, me and the staff and the players.”
Are these players overachieving?
“Yes, yes. I think we are doing more. We are doing more, yes.”
Concerned about the top four?
“Yes, yes. We must be worried. We must be worried. It won’t be easy. But this is normal. I’m maybe repeating myself from the start of the season.
“It won’t be easy this season, and we have to fight. We must be prepared to fight and ready to do this. I’m ready. I think the players are starting to understand that this season we have to struggle for a position in the Champions League.
“But I think the players, until now, are great. Are very, very top. For their commitment and their behaviours. If they hadn’t done that, our place in the table would be worse.”
Will the top four be more difficult to get after the transfer window has now shut?
“We have to understand that, if we want to speak about football and if we think to understand football we know very well this will be very difficult for us. If we want only to dream and not see the reality – in this case, I can tell you now we can fight to win the title this season.
“It will be very important to look at the reality and to know that, if we are able to reach a place in the Champions League, it will be a great success for us. Otherwise we have a normal season.”
Is the owner a realist or dreamer?
“I don’t know. My task is to try to be more realistic if possible and try to transfer this to the players, because the players if they know and understand the danger. But the players are fantastic in their commitment. They understand very well what our situation is in this season.”