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Burnley face Chelsea tonight which brings the two managers against each other for the first time since the opening day of the season.

“I remember very well that game,” Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said of Burnley’s 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge. “After about 15 minutes there was a red card for Gary Cahill and we started this game with a player (Jeremie Boga) who we then sent on loan in the Championship.

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“We went 3-0 down and we were able to come back to 3-2. It was a strange game. I think they deserved to win and for sure this game was very important to improve their confidence, but they showed during the season that to play against Burnley is very tough.”

Chelsea are currently behind Spurs in the chase for a Champions League place. Conte said: “If I see the table, I see that they have eight points more than us and I would like to be in their position and not to be behind. We have to try to do our best but at the same time we have to know that in front of us there is a team that finds it difficult to drop points. We must be very good to not drop points if we want to have a hope to finish in the top four.”

Conte has also said that he has a more difficult job than Sean Dyche. “He is doing an important job,   great job this season,” Conte said of our manager. “But if you start the season fighting to avoid the relegation zone it is more simple, also if you have a small budget, because you can count on the team that in the past qualified to play again in the league. It is more difficult when you have to prepare in the transfer market to win something, because only one team wins.”

Dyche also referred to that opening day victory at Stamford Bridge. “Looking back on that game, it wasn’t just a great result against a top side,” he said. “You’ve got to remember there was a story to the season before about one win away from home. That was gone immediately.

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“Apart from the real superpowers, everyone waits for that first win and it makes a story if you don’t get that first win in a number of games. That’s gone immediately, so your away win and a win have cleared up. It changes the immediate feel of a season.

“It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it just changes the immediate feel. You’ve got a win under our belts and points on the table and everyone’s okay, great start, let’s just move on from there, and we’ve not really looked back, even with a tough period of eleven games when our performance levels were still pretty decent.”

That run has ended and we go into the Chelsea game with our best ever run of results in the Premier League. “The winning feeling is what we all crave,” he said. “It does give you that extra spring in your step, the old fashioned things.

““It gives you that little lift and everything feels a bit better, everyone feels a bit better about themselves. The crowd are buzzing, the team are buzzing and it does instil that extra bit of confidence and the freedom to go and play.

“You’ve got to enjoy that feeling because it’s hard to come by in the Premier League and we’ve done that successfully on a number of occasions this season. To win back-to-back in the Premier League is very difficult. When you get three, four and add in five, that’s an amazing run for clubs outside the top six.

“You don’t even see it that often for all of the top six, but it’s rare you see it out of the top six or seven clubs, so we’re very, very pleased with the players on how they’ve performed during this period.”

 

 

 

 

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