Everyone’s a bit more familiar with it
Last month, Italy were led into the Euros by Antonio Conte, but the former Juventus midfielder ended his two years in charge of his national side to become the permanent replacement for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
He’s an experienced manager and had enjoyed eight years previous to taking the national role with five Italian clubs. This latest job is the first time he’s been involved as a player or coach outside his native Italy.
He’s certainly settled in well. They’ve won their opening two Premier League fixtures against West Ham and Watford and also won through in the League Cup, beating Bristol Rovers this week at Stamford Bridge.
Conte has spoken about tomorrow’s game which he believes will be a tough one for his side and said of us: “I watched their performance against Liverpool, and also against Swansea. It was a fantastic performance against Liverpool from a physical and tactical aspect.
“They put great pressure on Liverpool for the whole 90 minutes. It’s incredible because only one year ago many people paid attention to ball possession. This game was 25 per cent ball possession for Burnley, and 75 for Liverpool, and the final result was 2-0 to Burnley.
“For this reason I told my players to pay great attention tomorrow because it’s a tough game with a good side. They are very solid in defensive situations and they are always waiting to go on the counter-attack with two very good forwards. We must pay great attention when we are attacking.
“I hope together, the players and the fans, will push to win the game. Every game in this league is very tough. You must face every game with great attention, and understand if you don’t have the right attention anything can happen. We saw this in the cup against Bristol.”
Despite the three wins, he wants more from his side and added: “We’ve played three games, we won them all, but I know and I spoke to my players about it, we can improve a lot.
“It’s logical after a game there are positive things and bad things. I like to show them both and also to improve the bad things. I am pleased to start the season in this way, for the players and for the club after last season, to take more confidence than we did last season, but we know we must improve a lot.”
It’s been a mixed week for Sean Dyche. Last Saturday he saw his team play, arguably, as well as they’ve ever played since he arrived at Turf Moor in October 2012, but four days later a much changed side went out of the League Cup at Accrington.
Whilst we look around for new signings, Chelsea have done some business over the summer and Dyche said: “Obviously there have been some big signings in between the last time we played there and there always are at the top clubs, but if you look at their squad, quite a lot of the players who we played against two years ago are still there.
“I think that the manager will make a difference and the way they play will be slightly different. However, I don’t think it will be a drastic change as I have seen them this season already.”
It’s back to being the underdogs again, and Dyche said: “This is how crazy football has gone. Against Accrington we were giants and Saturday we’re minnows. That’s how bizarre football has become and the perception of it, but my players can walk in there a little bit more familiar as they’ve been to these grounds and they’ve played on the pitches, not all of them but most of our players. It doesn’t guarantee you a result, but it just means that everyone’s a bit more familiar with it.”
But he warned: “They’ve got high quality players on the pitch, and they’ve got high quality player who are not even getting stripped and coming off the bench, such as Cesc Fabregas last week, so it gives you an idea of the depth that these clubs have.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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