Chelsea manager Antonio Conte refused to be drawn on whether £60m club record signing Alvaro Morata will be ready for the opening game of the Premier League season against Burnley on Saturday.
Morata, the replacement for unwanted striker Diego Costa, has had limited game-time since joining Chelsea last month and failed to make an impact after being introduced from the bench in the 74th minute yesterday.
“Morata needs to work but this is normal,” said Conte. “It is very important for him to find a good physical condition and to understand our idea of football. He needs a bit of time. It is the same for [Antonio] Rudiger and [Tiemoue] Bakayoko.”
Conte cut a deflated figure in the aftermath of his side’s defeat and described himself as “frustrated” and “angry” over the decision of referee Bobby Madley to give Willian a yellow card for diving instead of awarding a penalty and send off Pedro.
The Italian also defended the decision to select goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as one of his five penalty takers. The 25-year-old blazed his spot-kick over the crossbar before Morata dragged his wide.
Conte added: “If a player shows you during a training session to be one of the best, you pick him to shoot the penalty.”