Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists he will continue with his favoured 3-4-3 system at Stamford Bridge but would not offer any indication whether captain John Terry will feature prominently in it.
The Blues have endured an up and down week, crashing out of the EFL Cup to West Ham after the high of hammering Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United upon the Portuguese coach’s return to Stamford Bridge.
However, Conte said he will not revert back to a four-man defence despite a shaky performance at the back at the London Stadium against the Hammers – and was decidedly opaque when asked about Terry.
“I think it is not a win or a defeat that can change my idea or the players’ confidence,” Conte said during his pre-match press conference on Friday. “I think it is the right way for the players because it is a good fit for the team, this system.
“We have found a good balance and also we have a good offensive situation because in every game we scored a goal.
“For sure we must continue to work with the offensive situation; to memorise some movements and also in defensive situations because it is not easy.
“It is different when you defend with the four and when you defend with the three, but I see a lot of positive things and we want to continue on this aspect and we are working hard to improve. We understood this way is the right way.”
“I don’t like to talk about individuals for their performance, [because] we win and lose together in every circumstance,” Conte added when asked about Terry.
“It is logical that after John came back from injury. It is not easy to start and find quickly the right shape, but I was satisfied with him.
“John is an important player for us. If he plays or if he doesn’t does play, he is still important for the dressing room, his teammates and for the club.
“But I repeat, in this case the team is always important and not to talk individuals. I always have to take the best decision for the team and never for an individual.”