Conte packing in homework as Chelsea games stack up
Antonio Conte is working overtime at home to cope with Chelsea's busy schedule, which he does not feel is justified by the riches on offer in English football.
The reigning Premier League champions face Norwich City in an FA Cup third-round replay at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday – their 14th game since the start of December.
Chelsea have drawn all four of their matches in 2018 - the most recent three all finished goalless - and Conte blamed fatigue for their woes in front of goal after Saturday's dispiriting stalemate against Leicester City.
The former Italy and Juventus boss has grafted around the clock to keep up with a fixture calendar he joined a host of managers in criticising over the festive period.
"I think it's not enough to work only here to prepare games every three days. I continue to work at my house, to continue to watch videos," Conte, whose workaholic tendencies and attention to detail have been previously documented, told reporters.
"It's not enough to work only here. For sure, I spend time also when I stay at my house continuing to work."
The thoughts of Antonio Conte are coming next... pic.twitter.com/BWZNaUYpSI
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 16, 2018
When it was put to Conte that the riches granted to Premier League clubs in television rights money was a reason to tolerate the schedule he remained unconvinced.
"I think this can't be a reason because you want to play so many games to risk an injury for the players," he said.
"This is not a good reason, only because you pay money. I think this is not right. We have to try to protect the players and, this way, you are not protecting the players.
"In this way, you are preferring the quantity rather than the quality."
Conte also reeled off a list of lucrative jobs coaches can turn their hand to away from England to underline his point.
"If you go in Spain you earn a lot of money. If you are the coach of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid... if you go in Italy, it's the same at Juventus, Milan, Inter," he added.
"In Germany and you are the coach of Bayern Munich, you earn a lot of money, or if you play for PSG, or in China, you earn a lot of money.
"It's not true that England is the only country who pay a lot of money for the coach."