Conte dismisses Mourinho feud as 'a stupid issue'

Antonio Conte feels there is a pointless desire to exaggerate a supposed feud with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

Antonio Conte (right)..."Every coach must be focused on his own work."   -  Getty Images

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has dismissed the idea Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is starting to prove a distraction. The former Juventus boss this week instructed Mourinho to "think about his own team" after he referred to managers who "cry" about injury problems.

However, when pressed about the idea of a simmering feud, Conte insisted it is "stupid" to focus on the matter. "Every manager has to talk about his job, himself, his team, his players. Not the others. Every coach must be focused on his own work. It's the best way," he told a news conference on Friday.

"I think these are stupid things, a stupid issue. It's fun to see your interest in this! I'm surprised."

Chelsea heads into Saturday's meeting with Watford on the back of two Premier League defeats in a row and a 3-3 Champions League draw with Roma on Wednesday.

The Blues have lost three times in their opening eight league games, having been beaten just five times en route to winning the title in Conte's first term in charge. There have also been reports of unrest in the dressing room during their difficult run, with some senior players said to be unhappy with the head coach's arduous training programme.

READ: Mourinho plays down Conte spat

Although Conte says he is happy with his players' commitment, he suggested the return of European football this season has forced Chelsea to work "70 per cent less" in training than they would like. "My method is the same, like last season. Honestly, I think we are maybe working 70 per cent less this season, on the tactical aspect and the physical aspect, because we are playing every three days," he said.

'Happy for the effort and committment'

"When you play every three days, it's impossible to work above all on the physical aspects. On the tactical aspects you have to work less and pay less attention on every detail. We are doing this. After two defeats and a draw... I'm happy for the effort and commitment of my players. If you ask me about the last results, I'm not happy. After two defeats and one draw, no coach can be happy."

Conte added his determination to give everything to turn results around at the club despite suggestions his job is coming under increasing pressure. "I think every manager has to feel pressure," he said. "But I repeat: I try to put all myself in the job. For this reason, I'm happy, I'm happy when I go to my house because I know I put in all of myself for this club, these fans, these players.

"Anything can happen in football. You continue to speak about this. The most important thing is to work. I hope to have this enthusiasm, passion, will to work. These are the most important things."

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