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Gary Neville: 'Chelsea boss Antonio Conte not happy with Nemanja Matic sale'

12 August, 2017, 06:07 | Author: Joan Malone

"But the football club is one thing and the team's credentials going into a competition are another thing entirely".

Per Doyle, they grabbed just a single win on the road, and with Keane and Gray now plying their trade elsewhere, the Clarets are likely to be weakened.

"Pedro is not available, he is suffering from an injury and has not been able to recover", Conte said.

"I'm not sure how good Bakayako is going to be for Chelsea, but he's going to have to be some player to get to the level of Matic". "It is important to try to improve your quality because if you improve your quality and you improve, it is simple", he said.

"There is a lot of games, it's a long season but I expect us to do well". What happens in the transfer market, the club is trying to do their best. This must be my focus. "I know twice as many people look at me now", he explained.

Conte added at Friday's press conference that his team will need to do more than their best to defend their title. This league is different to the other countries when you find two teams to fight for the title. "The two wing-backs are pushed very high and we attack with numbers, so for us at the back in terms of balance you have to have some sort of protection and they gave us that last season".

"It's the start of the Premier League and it's very important for us".

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Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has backed Morata to do an admirable job leading the line for Chelsea, adding: "Conte will make him work exactly the way he wants".

"He's a good player".

'Diego Costa did it by nature because he has a huge personality, is really strong and he did it aggressively.

That being said, when asked about Diego Costa, who he of course exiled from the squad, Conte remained firm, and claimed the player would not be allowed back into the side and will be sold this summer.

Much was made of the Blues' smaller squad in comparison to their North London opponents and although the likes of Alvaro Morata and Antonio Rudiger did make appearances in the second half many will be hoping for some more signings before the window closes. Alvaro Morata has done little of note in pre-season―handing him the start on opening day could be a major risk.

Speaking after the full-time whistle, Lampard told BT Sport: "He came at a young age, I think he had a year under Rafa Benitez when he got a few minutes but then he got loaned out for three years on the trot".

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