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Conte on Hazard injury, Batshuayi future, Moses contract, West Ham preparations

The biggest talking point from Antonio Conte’s press conference was regarding his future, but we already knew all that. Still, it was nice to hear that he wants to stay, that he wants to build for the future, and that his family are coming to join him in London on a more permanent basis starting in the summer. The first-year was obviously a trial period for everyone, but he seems to be passing with flying colors so hopefully we can build a long and lasting relationship out of it.

“It’s normal for every coach to hope to stay many years in a club and reach great results, to win. If you ask me, I hope to stay here and work a lot for this club, to win a lot with this club.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

Meanwhile, there are more immediate matters to pay attention to, namely West Ham United and the man-mountain known as Andy Carroll, who’s sure to make Cesar Azpilicueta earn his wages on Monday.

“Carroll, for sure, is a really good player. Very strong physically, and we must pay great attention to him... we are preparing something different if you face a player that is fast or one that is very strong physically... we are preparing very well.”

Of course, West Ham are not a one-man team, though the absence of Michail Antonio through suspension will be felt, while the availability of Robert Snodgrass may be in doubt as well: a warrant was issued for him in Glasgow after he missed a court date for a charge from 2015 (he didn’t know he had to be there, claims his terrible lawyer).

“I think we must pay attention to the whole West Ham team and squad. We are trying to limit the strength of our opponents and we are looking for solutions. But it's important we play our own football, with our philosophy, to try and score and play well, with high intensity.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Evening Standard

One man who’s integral to our own football and philosophy is Victor Moses, the man reborn as the best wing-back in the league not playing for Spurs. Conte had nothing but praise for the 26-year-old who signed a brand new 4-year deal earlier this week.

“First of all, it’s right to say that Moses deserved a new contract. He’s a really good guy, he’s a good player with great technique and a desire to fight. He deserves this.”

“When I saw him during pre-season I was very clear with him that he would stay here for the whole season. I said I hope he’s happy with that and he said he was very happy to stay and try to prove himself and prove he was ready to play for Chelsea. I’m pleased for him, he deserves it and nobody gifted him anything.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

One man who’s slightly less integral to our own football and philosophy is Michy Batshuayi, who’s excellent on social media but less so on the football pitch. Batshuayi’s future remains very much in doubt, and while an outright sale may not be likely this summer (due to a combination of high wages and a long time left on his contract), a loan may yet become a possibility. But for now, what matters is the work.

“When you ask about my players, I like to repeat that the present is the most important thing. To work very hard in the present and live in the present.”

“At the end of the season we'll look at the situation of every single player. Now he's working very well for us. He must continue to work and anything can happen. If he shows me he deserves to play, I'm ready to put him him in the starting XI. If that doesn't happen, I'll continue this way.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Evening Standard

The challenge is clear.

On a final note, Conte revealed that Eden Hazard has picked up another minor knock, this time in training, but it’s thought to be nothing serious.

“Nothing important [as far as injuries] apart from a little problem for Eden Hazard. He got kicked when we began training again on Wednesday but I think it is nothing serious. The rest of the team is in good fitness and we are working very well.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

With the match only on Monday, after all the other teams have played, Hazard has plenty of time to recover fully and help keep Chelsea well ahead of the chasing pack.

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