Chelsea were comfortable 4-1 victors in the F.A. Cup fourth round against Peterborough and Antonio Conte was left feeling "pleased" with the performance from his side as well as the return to action for defender, Kurt Zouma. Following the final whistle Conte discussed his feelings with the club website as well as the future of captain, John Terry, and the return of youngster, Nathan Ake.
On the performance and Kurt Zouma
After the defeat to Tottenham, it was important for Chelsea to show their ability to react which is something Conte felt they did even though he made nine changes to the side that played.
Conte believed he saw "positive things" on the pitch and the "commitment" showed to Conte that they are a "team." In particular, Conte had praise for the returning Kurt Zouma who had been out of action for 11 months and he felt it was "fantastic" for him to be able to return and play a full 90 minutes.
Terry in the clear
The Chelsea skipper returned to the side in the F.A. Cup, only to see his game end with an early shower after Terry was shown a red card in a decision that the Blues boss didn't feel was "right," which he believed was a "pity." Even though Conte was adamant that people must show "respect" to referee's, he did admit that it was a decision the club are considering appealing as he felt it was "very clear" that Terry "didn't deserve" the punishment.
With his captain's contract coming to an end in the summer, Conte was asked about what the future has in store for Terry, a question the Italian didn't have a firm answer for. Conte did say it was a decision that is not his "alone" and is something that needs to be done with the "club," but he did heap the praise on Terry, who he described as a "good man," for all the "commitment" he has shown him, and for "helping" him within the changing room.
One player Conte was happy to discuss was Nathan Ake, who was recalled from his season-long loan with Bournemouth, due to the fact Conte believes he is "ready" to "stay" in the Chelsea squad and compete for a place within his side. Conte stated he was "pleased" to see Ake return "home" and claimed he provides him with an "important option" as he can play on the left and the middle of his back three.
Looking at the transfer market on a whole Conte believes the January market is "not easy" to do business in as it is "very difficult" to find the right player halfway through a season, but did admit the club are "seeing" if they can find anybody who could "improve" his current squad.