International

Conte dismisses Mourinho counter-attack jibe

2017-03-13 17:10
Antonio Conte (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Ahead of Monday's FA Cup clash with Manchester United, Antonio Conte hit back at claims that Chelsea are a counter-attacking team.

The Blues face their old manager Jose Mourinho in a quarter-final meeting at Stamford Bridge, and the Italian coach bristled at his predecessor's suggestion that they rely too heavily on the counterattack.

"I have to tell you one thing," Conte told The Times. "Not only here, but I never, ever, ever train for the counterattack. Never prepare for the counterattack. Never.

"I think the counterattack is an option above all if you have a type of player, players who are very, very fast.

"Diego Costa is a counterattacking man, and Willian and Pedro. It's normal to have this situation with space so they know what they can do.

"For me, it's important to train the other aspects: when we have the ball, when we stay almost always in our opponent's' half, to prepare when we're attacking.

"It's very difficult to train counterattacking, but it's not my priority. You have to be prepared to play in different parts of the pitch."

Meanwhile Eden Hazard believes Paris Saint-Germain's failure to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals should serve as a warning for Chelsea.

PSG squandered a 4-0 lead from their first-leg clash against Barcelona, to lose 6-5 on aggregate, following a 6-1 defeat at Camp Nou.

Chelsea enjoy a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings with 11 games left in the season, and Hazard believes failure to clinch the title would be similar to PSG's implosion at Barca.

Kick off is at 21:45.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  fa cup  |  antonio conte  |  soccer
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