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Conte: Guardiola only better than me because he has it easy

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes Pep Guardiola’s comparatively superior start to life at Manchester City is down to the Catalan having it easy at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola has won his first nine matches as City boss, while Chelsea have picked up just one point from the last six available in the Premier League and travel to Arsenal on Saturday.

Both Premier League newcomers were expected to take time to transition into English management, but Guardiola has shown little sign that his methods will need to bed in,.

Chelsea, by contrast, have struggled for fluency in many of their matches under Conte’s stewardship.

However, the former Italy coach believes that friendlier surroundings meant Guardiola was always more likely to enjoy a superior start.

“I think that Manchester City they are playing similar football to what they played in the past,” he said.

“You must see what type of tactical situation you find [when taking over a club].

“That is because the directors of football are Spanish and they bought a lot of players who are used to this idea of football and these tactics. I think it is a bit easier for his players to get into his ideas.”

Conte has undertaken a rebuilding job at Stamford Bridge after last season’s disastrous title defence under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink, who took over following the Portuguese’s sacking.

Embarking on the 12th managerial reign of Roman Abramovich’s 13-year ownership at Stamford Bridge, Conte does not fear the notoriously twitchy trigger finger of the Russian billionaire.

“When you trust your work, you are never afraid [of being sacked],” Conte said. “I am doing my work and I continue to do my work in the same way that I did in the past and in the present, continuing as usual.

“I am sure that if I don’t win tomorrow, if I don’t win the next game, I am sure that in the future I will win, I am sure. 

“I discussed about my job with the club before I arrived to sign and before I signed I think that here and at every club before you sign or they take a new manager, it is important to speak about what work the manager did in the past.” 

Fri 23 Sep, 2016
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