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Conte must set the example


Alexandre Pato: I'm excited about making Chelsea contribution

Alexandre Pato insists he is in "very good" physical shape and is ready to make an impact for Chelsea when called upon.

Pato, 26, completed a six-month loan move to Stamford Bridge last week from Corinthians, but the necessary paperwork was not completed in time for him to feature in Sunday's 5-1 win at MK Dons in the FA Cup fourth round.

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink revealed on Tuesday that Pato remains "some way off in fitness" -- having played his last competitive match for Sao Paulo on Nov. 28 -- and that he will decide on Wednesday whether the Brazilian can be involved in his matchday squad against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Radamel Falcao remains a long-term absentee with a "very serious" thigh injury, while Loic Remy continues to battle a persistent calf problem.

Pato admits he is not yet in peak condition but is confident he can make a contribution, having settled well into life at Chelsea.

Alexandre Pato would bring plenty of European experience to the table, having spent five-and-a-half seasons at Milan.
Alexandre Pato's last competitive match was for Sao Paulo on Nov. 28.

"I feel very good physically," the forward told Chelsea's official website. "Obviously as a player you need game time to be at your best but I feel prepared, I have been training well, and hopefully with games and time I can adapt.

"I have heard a lot about the Premier League and I had the chance to play against English opposition when I was at AC Milan, including Chelsea [in a 2009 friendly]. It's a different league, very hard, very physical, with a lot of contact, and hopefully with my pace and my ability I will be able to help the team. I'm hoping to contribute a lot and have a great time here.

"I know I only have a few months until the end of the season but what I can promise is that I am prepared to do my best, and I am prepared to play to the best of my ability to help during the few months left of the campaign."

Pato's five-year spell at AC Milan was brought to an end by declining form and a succession of injuries, but he is confident that his improved health means he can become a reliable option for Hiddink in the remaining months of the season.

"I went to Brazil [after leaving Milan in January 2013] to learn more about my body and my physique: what to do before training, during training, after training, even after the match," Pato added. "I learned a lot about myself and how to look after myself, and now Chelsea have opened the doors to me for this opportunity. I am very happy to be back in Europe."

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.


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