Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Euro absence boosts Chelsea bid: Conte

By Nick Purewal

Published 02/08/2016

Positives: Antonio Conte is hoping to capitalise on a lack of Euro action
Positives: Antonio Conte is hoping to capitalise on a lack of Euro action

Antonio Conte is aiming to take advantage of Chelsea's Champions League absence by sharpening their Premier League title challenge.

The Blues finished 10th last term, a hugely disappointing campaign that cost Jose Mourinho his job in December and represented a lacklustre and unsuccessful title defence.

Guus Hiddink steadied the ship with a calm caretaker stint, allowing Chelsea to recruit Conte on completion of his Euro 2016 duties managing Italy.

Conte exploited Juventus' lack of Champions League football to swipe the Serie A title in his first season managing the Italian giants in 2011-12, and is already eyeing a repeat in west London.

"Not playing in the Champions League could be an opportunity because I will be able to work more with my players," said Conte. "If you ask me if I prefer this situation, I don't because Chelsea must be in this competition. You do feel like you're missing something.

"It is a special competition and you want to play in it every year, but because we are not, I will have a whole week to train with my players and that gives me a chance to work with them more compared to Chelsea managers in previous seasons."

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph