Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

Misfiring strikers continue to give Antonio Conte cause for concern

Misfiring strikers continue to give Antonio Conte cause for concern

The gaffer hints that he trusts the two forwards but refused to guarantee them a place in the starting line-up against Palace.

Conte would not respond publicly but is adamant he will play Hazard in the same role again if he sees fit.

The second leg of Chelsea's Champions League round-of-16 tie against Barcelona on Wednesday looms large ahead of the Palace game, but Conte insisted that his players will not be distracted from the task at hand.

"During the worldwide break they made me [do] an interview. But I repeat, I don't like to speak to the press what happens with one player, with two players, with the team". My stupid answer was, 'We are winning, but I'm not happy because I'm not enjoying the role the coach chose to give me'.

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"I did this when I was a player".

"He killed me in a bad way, not in a soft way, in front of the players".

"In every game I have to decide the starting XI and not the players, because the players are the players and the manager is the manager".

'After training, the club called me. They killed me another time, [gave] me a big, big fine. I think that, in some games, it's right to start with him. I was on the bench against Piacenza'. In others, it's right to continue with Hazard as a No9.

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'This is not my habit, ' he said.

'That's a pity. We could have played on for three hours, but I wouldn't touch a ball. Did we mention it's FREE to play?

Except last Saturday versus Manchester City.

'I didn't see a lot of shots on goal from Manchester City, and this is very odd. "With Juve, don't forget you are talking about a team with many players with great experience, many who have won or played in a final of the Champions League many times", he said.

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'The tactics were the same against Barcelona and against them I didn't listen to anyone complaining. Under a new manager, he would have a much better chance of forcing his way back into the first team in west London.

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