Will Eden Hazard start on Saturday?
“I don’t know. I think Eden is ready for 50-60 minutes but I don’t know about 90 minutes. He can start.”
It seems in his body language that he wants to start?
“Maybe, but I think it’s more important in my mind.”
Are you happy that he’s happy with that situation?
“I am happy with him. He wants to play. It’s the right way to think for him, but I have to think for everybody.”
Will he definitely stay?
“I think so. I am a coach of a very good team, a great club. I think that it’s so important that we don’t sell a very important player without the possibility to buy another player of the same level. Eden will stay with us for the season.”
Any big plans this season for Ruben Loftus-Cheek?
“I chose to put on the bench two wingers and only one midfielder. I’ve spoken with him twice this week after I spoke with the club. I think he will remain with us. We can speak again about his situation but only in December.”
What are some of the changes you’ve made around the training ground?
“For me it’s very important that the team is able to work very well during training. We are professional, so after the pitch they are able to eat in the right way.”
Have you been working on the defence this week?
“Every week. I am not worried about the defence. When I arrive at new teams I usually have problems in defence for the first few months. I think it’s normal”
Would you use five defenders?
“No. I’m not able to play with five defenders. Why? Because we are trying to defend by only looking at the ball. In this way with five defenders I lose meters on the pitch. I tried five years ago but it’s not my way.”
Where does Gary Cahill fit into your plans?
“I think that in this moment for a defender it is more difficult to play in my team with only 20 days of training. It’s easier for the offensive players but for a defender it’s more difficult. I think in this moment he needs to have much more training defensively with us.”
Have you spoken to him?
“Yes, I told him he will need to be patient now but he’s very important to us.”
What have you made of the Premier League? Is it what you expected are you surprised?
“No. In Italy it was a war before the match. I think in Serie A at 2-0 after 20 minutes the match is finished. Here it’s a party before the match!”
Which do you prefer?
Just one on Rafael Benitez…
“I have to say thank you to Rafa. When I arrived in Naples I had the feeling that the team was almost ready to play my football. If I arrived after another coach it may have been more difficult for me. I have to say thank you to him. He’s a very good coach. On Sunday it will be very difficult for us. We know that our opponents are very dangerous. Chelsea lost 3-0 there last season but Manchester United and Arsenal also lost there. We know that on Sunday it will be a difficult game for us.”
Were you pleased with Kovacic’s debut?
“I think Mateo and Eden played very well the last 30 minutes. I think at that moment the intensity of the match was going down. I think like Eden, he’s only ready to play for 60-65 minutes.”
Do you wish you could have signed him permanently?
“It’s too early to say. I like him very much and I’m hopeful he will remain here in the future.”
Are you confident that you have the players defensively to play the style you want?
“I think that in my opinion my feeling is that this team I have very intelligent players, so they can improve in one month.”