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Full Conte press conference: Every word on Hazard, Morata and ‘stupid’ comments

Why the bad run of form? (four defeats in five Premier League games)

“I think we must have a big regret for the defeat against Bournemouth, Watford and United, but I don’t think today. Today we played against a team that has shown to be a strong team.

“Today they have showed the difference between them and us in this moment. 25 points is a big gap. I think that we can have the regret for the other games, but not this because I think the effort of the players was an important effort.

“When you play Manchester City against this type of team that are showing fantastic quality but at the same time a fantastic mentality, when you match quality and mentality you become unstoppable. We can have regret for the other games but not this one.”

Why the late substitutions?

“I tried to do something with the substitutions. I tried, but for sure when we decided to play with Pedro, Hazard and Willian there is a bit of difficulty to have on the bench the players to change the game, we tried to change the game with the two strikers.

“When you play a strong team, an important team, for us it is very difficult to keep the same balance of last season, with Hazard in the position of number ten. We had two players to have the quality and run a lot defensively, I think Pedro and Willian played a fantastic game.”

Why did Morata almost come on then not?

“I tried to wait because the substitution was with Hazard. You hope until the end that a player like Hazard can invent something during the game. We were unlucky in this aspect. I decided to do this, I don’t know, a bit late. In the last game against United I did it before with Hazard and it didn’t change.”

Did the players follow your instructions?

“Yeah, they followed my instructions. We prepared for the game in this way, we didn’t concede space between the lines. When you play against City you have to use your head, your brain otherwise you risk to finish the game in a bad way and lose 3, 4-0.

“I think we tried to not concede the space to City and for a long part of the match it was good. To concede 30 seconds into the second half was a pity, because then the game was very difficult for us to come back.”

Hitting back at Jamie Redknapp’s ‘crime against football’ claim…

“Yeah, but I think in this moment you have to accept every critic but I am not so stupid to play against Manchester City open and to lose 3-0 or 4-0. If I remember well, two days ago, Arsenal played twice against them and then you criticise a lot Wenger because they concede three goals in only 30 minutes.

“The pundit has to use the head to understand when you speak about tactics because I think you must have knowledge to speak about tactics and not only to speak in a stupid way.”


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