NO WAY JOSE
Conte not changing his style for Mourinho
ANTONIO Conte promised on Friday he would have no qualms in celebrating another Chelsea win over Manchester United on Monday despite riling rivals boss Jose Mourinho the last time the Red Devils were at Stamford Bridge.
The two English powerhouses meet in the FA Cup quarter-finals for the latest chapter of a rivalry given added spice by the fact that Conte was eventually appointed as the permanent successor to the sacked Mourinho at Chelsea.
In October, table-toppers Chelsea enjoyed a 4-0 home win over United, with visiting manager Mourinho unhappy with the way Conte tried to gee up the crowd when his side had already scored four goals.
But the former Juventus and Italy manager said Friday he saw no reason to talk to Mourinho pre-match or tone down his approach.
“No, no. I don’t think it’s important, this. (There is) nothing we have to clarify with him,” he said.
“I’ve shown at Chelsea, not only Chelsea, every team that I managed that I live the game with great passion,” the Italian added.
“Sometimes I want to share my enthusiasm, my passion with my players, with my staff, also with the fans. I think it’s normal.
“We are not in the same way. For me the most important thing is to try to win, then to think for another celebration.”
Mourinho is not adverse to prematch verbal sparring or ‘mind games’ but Conte, whose side are 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League and 17 in front of sixth-placed United, said: “I’m very focused on the pitch.
“The mind games don’t bring you to win, above all if you face a team who is focused. We must talk during the game on the pitch, not before.”
Yet that did not stop Conte saying that both Manchester City, 10 points adrift in third place, and United had stronger squads than Chelsea.
“Manchester United, together (with City), have the best squad in the league,” Conte said. “They have a lot, a number of great players, with great talent and great experience to win.”
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will want to forget their last meeting with Chelsea where they lost 4-0 at home.