Conte packing in homework as Chelsea games stack up

Chelsea head-coach is happy to continue crafting tactical plans at home but fears his players and others are being overworked in England.

Antonio Conte believes fatigue is to blame for Chelsea's run of three games without scoring a goal.   -  Getty Images

Antonio Conte is working overtime at home to cope with Chelsea's busy schedule, which he does not feel is justified by the riches on offer in English football.

The reigning Premier League champion faces Norwich City in an FA Cup third-round replay at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday – its 14th game since the start of December.

READ: Conte's second string fails to deliver in draw at Norwich City

Chelsea has drawn all four of its matches in 2018 - the most recent three all finished goalless - and Conte blamed fatigue for its woes in front of goal after Saturday's dispiriting stalemate against Leicester City.

READ: Relentless Foxes hold on after Chilwell red

The former Italy and Juventus boss has grafted around the clock to keep up with a fixture calendar he joined a host of managers in criticising over the festive period.

"I think it's not enough to work only here to prepare games every three days. I continue to work at my house, to continue to watch videos," Conte, whose workaholic tendencies and attention to detail have been previously documented, told reporters.

"It's not enough to work only here. For sure, I spend time also when I stay at my house continuing to work."

A case of quantity over quality?

When it was put to Conte that the riches granted to Premier League clubs in television rights money was a reason to tolerate the schedule he remained unconvinced.

"I think this can't be a reason because you want to play so many games to risk an injury for the players," he said.

"This is not a good reason, only because you pay money. I think this is not right. We have to try to protect the players and, this way, you are not protecting the players.

READ: Conte urges action over Premier League fixture complaints

"In this way, you are preferring the quantity rather than the quality."

Conte also reeled off a list of lucrative jobs coaches can turn their hand to away from England to underline his point.

"If you go in Spain you earn a lot of money. If you are the coach of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid... if you go in Italy, it's the same at Juventus, Milan, Inter," he added.

"In Germany and you are the coach of Bayern Munich, you earn a lot of money, or if you play for PSG, or in China, you earn a lot of money.

"It's not true that England is the only country who pay a lot of money for the coach."

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