Jan 17, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
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NorwichNorwich City
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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte: 'I try to protect Eden Hazard'

Conte: 'I try to protect Hazard'
© Offside
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte suggests that he will continue to do what he feels is necessary in order to maintain the fitness of Eden Hazard.

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has defended his decision to continue to substitute Eden Hazard.

Since December 9, Hazard has completed 90 minutes on just one occasion, and Conte's stance was further highlighted on Saturday afternoon when the Belgian international only lasted an hour against Leicester City.

However, Conte has insisted that he will continue to do what is best for the winger, with Hazard having missed pre-season due to a fractured ankle.

At a press conference, the 48-year-old said: "We are talking about a player that recently had a bad injury in his ankle, surgery as well. When you have this type of situation you have to manage this situation. He missed pre-season with us. We are trying to find the best way and it is normal that one player can keep the top of the form.

"My task is to improve him and try to take the best decision for the team for the game, not just him. I am the coach, I decide. It is not important if the player is happy, only here there it is this habit.

"It is not important. My first target is to do my best for the player and the team, not keep players happy."

Hazard is still expected to play some part of Chelsea's FA Cup third-round replay with Norwich City on Wednesday night.

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Gary Cahill is forced off with an apparent hamstring problem during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Leicester City on January 13, 2018
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