The Italian is a man who kicks every ball and bellows to his players from his technical area. Mourinho appeared to express his annoyance at this when speaking at length to his successor after Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.
Italian media reported Mourinho had been annoyed that Conte had encouraged the home support to cheer on the Blues when they were already 4-0 up, saying “it’s humiliating”.
Conte insisted he had moved on as Sunday’s win is now in the past, but, speaking ahead of tonight’s EFL Cup fourth-round clash at West Ham, he made a pointed remark, which may have left Mourinho with his ears burning.
“I live the game with great emotion, with great passion,” Conte said. “I think that everyone must show respect for me, for my work, for my job. In every game I show myself. Not here, only one game. I have a history and you can see my history, my past and my behaviours on the bench.
“I always show respect for the opponent, for the other teams, for the other club, and my history speaks for me.”
Conte, still hoarse following Sunday’s win over United, was asked whether his behaviour could antagonise opposition fans.
The former Juventus boss preferred to focus on the positive atmosphere and urged Chelsea’s supporters to focus on backing the team through good and bad as a 12th man.
“One reason you want to work in England is for the atmosphere that you breathe during the game,” he said. “It’s very special passion in this country. I want to see this. Push the players to win.”
Since switching to a back three against Hull, Chelsea have scored nine goals without reply. Captain John Terry was an unused substitute in the wins over Leicester and United — Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, and Gary Cahill started — but could start for the first time in six weeks following an ankle injury as Conte prepares to rotate his options.
West Ham face a major test of security, stewarding, and policing when the London Stadium hosts its first derby tonight. There have already been disturbances in the stands and outside the ground at some of West Ham’s previous home matches, and a series of measures us in place in a bid to ensure the potentially explosive tie passes off peacefully.
However, Hammers boss Slaven Bilic wants his players pumped up as they attempt to knock out the Blues and reach the quarter-finals.
“I don’t want them to be calm, no, no,” he said. “I want them to be focused and up for it, but at the same time not to do anything stupid.”
While the club is working to solve the troubles off the pitch at their new home, Bilic has come up with a way to remedy their problems on it.
The Hammers were dumped out of the Europa League by Romanian side Astra Giurgiu and suffered heavy defeats against Watford and Southampton as they struggled to adapt to their new surroundings. So Bilic decided the squad should train at the former Olympic Stadium once a week, and the move paid immediate dividends with Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sunderland.
“We’ve done it three or four times now, and we did it on the Friday before Sunderland,” revealed Bilic.
“It’s about the optical reality they have on the pitch, and where everything is. It is wider and bigger.
It’s for the players to get used to that specific pitch, to the size, to certain areas where they play.
“You score some good goals from a specific spot in training and when you are in a match you think ‘I scored yesterday from here’. It definitely helps.”