Thursday 27 July 2017

Conte thriving in Chelsea's pain game

Conte: “I think that there are different persons generally…because there is someone that can
live with the pain more than another person.
Conte: “I think that there are different persons generally…because there is someone that can live with the pain more than another person." Photo: Reuters / John Sibley

Samuel Lovett

Amid the jokes and laughs of Antonio Conte's press conference, the Italian raised a serious point as he compared his pain threshold to that of his wife's. Having revealed moments before that defender David Luiz has been recently playing with a minor discomfort in his knee, Conte admitted: "I take the pain very well. My wife? No."

Using the example of a hot Italian summer day, he suggested he could bear the "40 degrees" heat but his other half could not.

Expanding upon a rare glimpse into his personal life, the Italian explained: "I think that there are different persons generally…because there is someone that can live with the pain more than another person. I think this is a different person to take pain in a different way. But I love the players that show me this type of behaviour."

As a combative and industrious midfielder during his own days as a player, Conte expects nothing else but dogged determination and relentless commitment to the cause, no matter the pain it brings. Touching upon his past experiences, the Italian spoke at length of the need to instil this intensity, or "tension" as he called it, within his own Chelsea players.

"Honestly, I like to keep always the right tension in my players. When I know you are coming after a good win, it will be relaxing (but) I try to avoid this, to try to find the solution to increase the tension before a game, before a training session. This is a part to improving your winning mentality.

"When I was a footballer for me it was very important to hear my coach warn me, to warn the team 'pay attention' because it's important to be focused, to be ready to fight.

"I think in this season you have a lot of time where you work very hard but sometimes you also to have one day off, or two or three, for relax, for you, for your family, to come back fresher and to restart."

Although pain may remain the name of the game, it's Conte's softer streak which may explain Chelsea's remarkable success this season. Either way, Burnley face quite the challenge in halting the Blues tomorrow.

Burnley v Chelsea, live, Sky Sports 1, tomorrow, 1.30

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