Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Conte backing Blues to bounce back after night of pain in Rome

By Matt McGeehan

Antonio Conte has tried to pass on his "suffering" to his Chelsea players in a bid to get a positive response.

Conte declined to discuss Nemanja Matic's transfer from Chelsea to Old Trafford, or comment on his relationship with Jose Mourinho, ahead of tomorrow's Premier League clash with Manchester United.

The Blues boss instead focused on his own team, who are seeking to respond from Tuesday night's 3-0 Champions League loss at Roma, which saw Conte questioning their "hunger".

Adversity will reveal the true character of his players, according to the Italian.

"We are struggling a lot because we are facing important problems," he said.

"To solve these problems is not simple. In this moment you can see if you are a winner or a loser. It's important to show our character, to be strong.

"I try to transfer my suffering to my players. Sometimes I'm able to do this, to have a good answer."

Chelsea twice beat United at Stamford Bridge last season, but Conte will accept responsibility if things go wrong this weekend.

He said: "I'm a coach who doesn't like to find excuses." attle for consistency this term.

Meanwhile, owner Roman Abramovich visited Chelsea's Cobham training ground last Sunday, following the win over Bournemouth, which Conte insisted was not unusual.

Belfast Telegraph

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