Saturday 18 August 2018

Antonio Conte accepts FA charge but he won't alter behaviour and believes the referee has a lesson to learn

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte

Matt McGeehan

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte intends to accept a Football Association charge of misconduct following his dismissal against Swansea on Wednesday.

The Italian was sent to the stands by referee Neil Swarbrick towards the end of the first half of Chelsea's 1-0 victory after furiously protesting the award of a Swansea goal-kick.

He later apologised to Swarbrick and fourth official Lee Mason but was charged on Thursday.

He has until 6pm on Tuesday to respond but does not plan to contest the charge and will accept the punishment, which is anticipated to be a fine.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Newcastle, Conte said: "I think it's right to accept and to pay the fine.

"I want to respect this decision and also to pay this fine."

While accepting the decision, Conte believes Swarbrick must learn from it too.

Conte added: "I also want the referee to learn something about his. For me Swansea was wasting time.

"In this case the referee has to try to protect the team that want to win, want to play football.

"I was angry because despite twice I said to the fourth official 'look, because they are wasting a lot of time'. I shout this. I accept the decision of the referee."

Conte, though, insists he will not be changing his animated touchline behaviour.

"For what? For this? No," he said.

In future, Conte will, rather than speaking to the fourth official, instruct his players to voice their displeasure at time-wasting to the referee.

Following his dismissal before half-time in the 1-0 win, Conte initially clambered behind the home dugout, where injured players David Luiz and Michy Batshuayi were sitting, before watching the second half in the home dressing room.

Luiz will again be out with a knee injury, but the length of his absence is unknown.

"He's having treatment," Conte said. "It's not simple now to understand how much longer (he will be out)."

Conte did not directly address speculation over the Brazilian making a January move to Real Madrid.

And, asked if he could guarantee there would be no player sales in the winter transfer window, Conte refused to make any promises, which will not quell the speculation surrounding Luiz.

"This moment is very early to talk about this topic," he said.

"When it will be the moment of (the) transfer market, we can start to speak about this."

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez will return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since his seven-month interim spell at Chelsea from November 2012 to May 2013, which saw him win the Europa League and secure Champions League qualification.

Benitez was unpopular with the supporters due to his prior spell at Liverpool, but Conte says the Spaniard was a success while understanding the Chelsea fans' objections.

"He's a really good manager and I have great respect for him," said Conte, who insisted he had a good relationship with former Napoli boss Benitez when he was Italy boss.

"Rafa in his Chelsea spell did well. To win the Europa League is not simple."

Online Editors

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