Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has urged Alvaro Morata to overcome his ‘stupid’ confidence after going through a difficult streak with the Blues. The Spain international had not scored for the club since Boxing Day, and he did himself no favours last week after he was sent off against the Norwich City in the FA Cup third-round replay.
The Blues continued to beat the Canaries on penalties, and they have since thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion by a 4-0 scoreline on the road. Speaking ahead of the League Cup semi-final versus Arsenal, Conte supported the striker through his difficult but wants the Spaniard to overcome his ‘stupid’ problems in order to regain his goalscoring form.
He said: “For the strikers, this situation can happen. For him, this is the first season that he’s been having a full season. Maybe, for him, this is the first time to face this type of problems. But he has to overcome this problem because this is a stupid problem.
“You have to work for the team and not lose confidence. The coach trusts him, the teammates trust him, the club trust him and the fans trust him. I don’t see a problem, but this is the first time Morata has faced this situation. So now he has to learn to face this type of situation, to move forward and to go on.”
Chelsea played out a boring 0-0 stalemate versus the Gunners in the first-leg of the League Cup, and they now face a tricky prospect at the Emirates Stadium, where they have not tasted success since the 2015/16 campaign. The Gunners have had the edge over the Blues of late in the Cup competitions in general, and Conte will be keen to avoid another setback at the hands of his cross-town rivals.
Batshuayi provided an impressive back heel assist for Willian against Brighton, but he is likely to drop to the bench to facilitate Morata’s admission into the starting line-up. The Belgium international is of interest to both AS Roma and Sevilla and the Blues are planning to utilise him as a makeweight to sign Eden Dzeko from the former.