?Antonio Conte has urged Alvaro Morata to rid himself of the ‘stupid’ confidence issues that the Chelsea striker is currently going through.
The Spain international is in the midst of a barren spell in front of goal having not netted since the Boxing Day win over Brighton at Stamford Bridge.
Morata is banned from facing, ironically, the Gulls on Saturday at the Amex stadium due to a one-match suspension for the red card he picked up against Norwich in midweek, and Conte told the ?London Evening Standard that his marksman should use his free time to develop a better mentality so he can hit the ground running on his return.
Conte said: “For the strikers, this situation can happen. For Alvaro, 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 team-mates trust him, the clubs trust him, the fans trust him. I don’t see a problem, but this is the first time Morata has faced this situation.
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“Before, if you stay on the bench, you don’t have this type of pressure. So now he has to learn to face this type of situation, move forward and go on. Everyone in Chelsea trusts him.”
In separate quotes published by ?football.london, meanwhile, Conte refused to comment on speculation linking Chelsea with shock moves for Stoke’s Peter Crouch and Roma’s Edin Dzeko.
The Italian has been on the lookout for striking reinforcements this month – rumours which have also linked Andy Carroll with a switch to west London – but Conte chose not to confirm or deny his side’s interest in the trio.
He added: “As you know very well that it is not right to talk about players on other teams. There is a transfer period and if something happens then you might be the one to know first.
“I am not interested in this conversation. To be respectful for my players and other players of other clubs. This is period is a transfer market, if something happens you are the first media to know the news.”