Conte not chang­ing his style for Mour­inho

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

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