Antonio Conte wants his Chelsea players to suffer like he does after a defeat as they look to get back on track at home to Manchester United.
Former Italy boss Conte experienced a chastening reverse when he returned to his homeland on Tuesday, with Chelsea going down 3-0 Champions League at Roma.
These are setbacks that the 48-year-old admits he does not take well and defeat to United would leave the reigning Premier League champions seven points shy of Jose Mourinho’s second-place side, while considerably darkening his mood.
“The way I suffer after a defeat is not for all, because I suffer, I suffer,” Conte told reporters.
“Those knows me very well, they know I don’t like to lose and that I needed a bit of time to digest this loss.”
By the same token, using this anguish to fuel a response is something Conte finds to be a useful tool.
“Then, those who know me know that, after this, I start stronger with more hunger, more desire because I don’t like to lose,” he explained.
“I don’t like the defeats. I try, also, to transfer my suffering to my players.
“Sometimes I am able to do this, to have a good answer. Sometimes it’s a bit… you have to work with me to understand.
“If we are happy after a defeat, it means we are not so clear to understand and to suffer. It’s right to suffer. After a defeat like that, you have to suffer if you have a good mentality.
“The most important thing then is to find quickly the best way to try to find a solution, to find the right strength to be prepared for another game. Manchester United is a really important game, a big game, a tough game.”
3 – This is the first time that a team managed by Antonio Conte has conceded three goals in a Champions League game. Shellshocked. pic.twitter.com/81rh5ygISc
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 18, 2017
Abject defending wholly at odds with the miserly backline that provided the backbone of Chelsea’s title charge last season was a feature of their Roman ruination and unlikely to have gone down well with Conte, who was present at a players’ meeting to survey the damage on Thursday.
However, he was happy to admit flaws in his own tactical planning hindered Chelsea in their home 3-3 draw against the Serie A opponents last month and insists he will continue to be this forthcoming.
“I like to think when I make a mistake, I speak with the press and tell [you],” he added.
“If you remember after the first game against Roma, it was my fault. That wasn’t the first time, either.
“A lot of times I’ve put my face in front [for criticism]. But I’m ready to do this if the players put always great commitment. This is the case.
“For sure, I’m a coach who doesn’t like to find excuses or alibis. Sometimes I prefer to put all the mistakes in my face. Also if the mistake is not mine… I prefer to put my face in front.”
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