Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says the absence of Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante will only be a good test for his team rather than a problem, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Costa and Kante will miss Chelsea’s Boxing Day home game against Bournemouth due to suspension after both players received their fifth yellow cards of the season in Chelsea’s 1-0 away win against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
But Conte posited that their absence will only give him the opportunity to try out new tactics in the team.
“This is a good test for us because we play this game without two very important players for our team,” Conte said in Thursday’s press conference.
“It gives me the possibility to play some players who haven’t played as much, or to find another solution.
“I have four days to evaluate the situation and find the best solution. We have different solutions to replace Costa and Kante.
“Kante and Costa are important players but work is being done in training this week to maintain our good form on Boxing Day.”
Conte stated that Costa’s possible replacement Michy Batshuayi will not be rushed into action.
“Michy is working very well. We must be patient with him. The next step for him is to play more this season,” Conte added.
“It’s not easy to arrive in this league as a young player from another country and adapt straight away.”
Conte also commented on Bournemouth, describing them as a good team with a good manager as well.
“I have been studying Bournemouth and I see a very good team who always try to play.”
“He’s (Eddie Howe) a really good manager. He’s young and he’s doing very well.”