Friday, April 20, 2018

Conte unconcerned by Mourinho´s ´contempt´ comment

SoccerNews in English Premier League 13 Jan 2018

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Antonio Conte is unconcerned by Jose Mourinho stating he has “contempt” for the Chelsea head coach, seemingly bringing an end to their war of words.

The duo have traded barbs over recent weeks, with Conte claiming Mourinho was suffering from amnesia after the Manchester United boss branded some of his contemporaries – without naming any individuals – “clowns” for their antics on the touchline.

Unimpressed, the Portuguese responded with a dig relating to the four-month ban the Italian served for failing to report alleged match fixing – which he was later acquitted of – while at Siena in 2011. The Chelsea boss retaliated by referring to his counterpart as a “little man”.

On Friday, Mourinho said he wanted an end to the story despite still harbouring ill-feeling towards Conte, who appears content to close the chapter.

Asked about the United manager’s latest comments, Conte said: “I said I stop. It is the same for me. I do not know if he said this for me. I am not worried, I sleep very well.”

Conte was speaking following Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Leicester City on Saturday, the first time in the club’s history they have been involved in three successive goalless matches.

The 48-year-old made just two changes from the EFL Cup semi-final draw with Arsenal on Wednesday and switched from his 3-5-2 to a 3-4-3 during the second half, but he refused to blame a lack of rotation or his system for the result against the Foxes.

“My plan was to play with one team in the FA Cup, and then these two games with almost the same players. But I think I saw a lot of players very tired,” Conte said.

“Against Norwich I made nine changes. Against Arsenal maybe 10 changes. I thought that two games, after two and a half days, for the same players was normal to recover. But we have to consider that, in this period, to face all competitions is not simple.

“The first thing I have to find is the right balance. At the same time, against Norwich we played 3-4-3 with Pedro, Willian and [Michy] Batshuayi, but we didn’t score. It was the same.

“This is not a problem with the system. In both systems we are conceding less but, with both systems, we are scoring less than last season. We have to try to improve on this aspect.”

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