Chelsea ace says he believes he’s being punished by Antonio Conte

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Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger admits he was ‘probably’ dropped for the Southampton game due to angering manager Antonio Conte with his comments.

The Germany international had recently criticised the team’s performance in the 1-1 draw at home to West Ham, and was then left out of the trip to Southampton this weekend.

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Rudiger says he was not injured for the clash at the St Mary’s Stadium and has attempted to clarify his comments in an interview with ZDF, translated by the Metro, as he feels Conte may have taken them the wrong way.

It’s been a difficult season for all involved at Chelsea as the club look set to slip out of the top four just a year after winning the Premier League title so convincingly.

Antonio Rudiger in action for Chelsea
Antonio Rudiger was dropped for Chelsea’s game against Southampton

Rudiger, however, insists he did not mean to criticise his manager or anyone personally after the side’s recent slump and habit of throwing games away from promising positions.

Asked if he felt his comments cost him his place against Southampton, Rudiger said: ‘Probably. But I didn’t mean it that way. It was a fact, it wasn’t about the tactics. I did not attack anyone personally, I meant us as a team.’

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