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Conte's Chelsea tactical revolution an inspiration to many: Howe

 

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Fan club: Eddie Howe is a huge admirer of Antonio Conte

Fan club: Eddie Howe is a huge admirer of Antonio Conte

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Fan club: Eddie Howe is a huge admirer of Antonio Conte

Bournemouth's Eddie Howe has praised Antonio Conte for "revolutionising the Premier League" as his team prepares for tonight's visit to Chelsea.

The Italian's future at Stamford Bridge remains the subject of intense speculation, owing to his criticism of their transfer policy and their struggles to defend the Premier League title.

Howe admired Conte's switch to what was then an unusual 3-4-3 formation, which inspired Chelsea to a title triumph, and like many rival managers has experimented with organising his team in a similar shape.

"In many ways he's revolutionised the Premier League," said Howe of the former Juventus boss.

"I've got a lot of time for him. If you look at a lot of teams now, they're playing five at the back, three at the back, that's down to Antonio, and the revolution he's brought to the Premier League.

"Tactically he's made the league more interesting, and it's been fascinating to see his work delivered on the pitch.

"Chelsea have the individuals who can swing a game in a second, you've got to try and keep those individuals quiet."

Bournemouth travel to Stamford Bridge just hours before the conclusion of the January transfer window, but Howe does not expect to make any new signings, and partly because he witnessed the negative impact deadline day can have this time last year.

They lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace, then struggling under Sam Allardyce, amid the distractions created by Glenn Murray's transfer to Brighton and Marc Wilson and Lewis Grabban leaving on loan.

"Last year was an uncomfortable experience because it knocked our preparations for the Crystal Palace game," Howe said.

"I hope we don't see the same again and I hope everyone can be focused on the football match we have, because it's a huge game for us and one that we need to make sure we perform well in."

Belfast Telegraph