Chelsea fans are quickly becoming accustomed to Antonio Conte’s animated behaviour in the technical area during games and the Italian has explained why showing such passion on the touchline is a major part of his managerial philosophy.
Having made three quick substitutions, Conte saw his players stage a late comeback against Watford at the weekend and celebrated both goals jubilantly having spent large parts of the game issuing instructions.
'Usually when my team play I play with them,' he said. 'I try in every moment to suggest the right pass or the right position. This is important because sometimes when the ball is off on one side it’s important to shout to change side, for example, or at the end of the game when we played 4-2-4 I had to shout to stay very wide with the two wingers, which is not easy. It’s important to support the players.
'After the game I am exhausted, but it’s important also to read the game, to read the situation because usually when you are watching a game, you look at the ball. I look at the ball but I look at the right position of the defender or the goalkeeper because sometimes it is very difficult for the player to look in that moment and I prefer to suggest. I hope that my throat doesn’t pay for it at the end of the game.'
Conte’s passion was also evident at full-time when he came on to the pitch to embrace all his players individually.
'I think that my experience from when I was a player, you must understand the right moment –when a player needs a hug or when a player needs the pressure. I think also it’s important to create the right feeling because along with my staff, we try to give them 110 per cent in our work every day.
'For this reason I ask the same from my players. It is important to create a good relationship and I like, always, to tell the truth, not a lie. Bad or good – I prefer to tell the truth. When the match is finished and I face the players it is important to look them in the eyes.'
Diego Costa was the match winner for Chelsea for the second successive match and Conte is keen for the Spaniard to avoid any distractions and maintain his excellent form in front of goal.
'Diego must be focusing on the game,' he explained. 'I don’t understand other players, managers or the press that talk bad about him. He must stay very positive on the match because for me the game and the performance are the most important things.
'It is important to pay attention during the game – only this – because he is an important player and he can score a lot of goals and I want him to put himself in the game and not seek other situations.'
Conte believes that our positive start to the season is the perfect way to kick things off after a disappointing 2015/16 campaign.
'Losing always leaves sad things in you,' he said. 'You can lose your confidence and for this reason it is important to win these two games because you can continue to trust in the work and raise the confidence of the players. For these reasons it was important to start in the right way for all. Now we must continue and we have a great chance to continue in the next game at home.'