Article

Father fuels Conte´s fire ahead of Mourinho reunion

25 février 2018 01:08

Antonio Conte credits his father for instilling his famous touchline passion and the Chelsea head coach is not ready to change his animated touchline ways.

Conte comes face to face with Jose Mourinho when Chelsea meet Premier League rivals Manchester United on Sunday – the pair's first meeting since they engaged in an unseemly public row at the start of last month.

Relations deteriorated swiftly after Mourinho referred to manager's who behaved like "clowns" on the touchline.

Although he did not mention Conte by name on that occasion, the Italian took those words to heart.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, the ex-Juventus boss spoke of his father and former youth-team coach Cosimo instilled a passion within him and, in doing so, hinted at a possible reason why he reacted in such a volatile manner to Mourinho's perceived snipe.

"My first owner, when I started to play football, it was my father. He was the owner, the coach, the kitman, the groundsman," Conte told reporters.

"I spent my life from the start on the pitch following the team of my father. For this reason, I have to thank him for this passion, for the passion I have for this sport."

And Conte Sr does not take kindly to his son's standards slipping, making a pointed observation after the humbling 4-1 defeat at Watford earlier this month.

"My father watched the game against Watford and phoned me up and said, 'I didn't see you with the right anger, with the right passion'. He told me that."

It seems Mourinho should not expect a quiet afternoon but if he becomes irritated by Conte's antics – as he did towards the end of United's 4-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge last season – it is unlikely his opposite number will notice.

"I don't see what happens on the other bench, or what the other manager does," he added. 

"In that moment, I'm alone and there is the pitch, my players, the game. I don’t see what happens because my focus is only on the pitch. It's great this, for me."

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