23 Feb Antonio Conte keen to move on from war of words with Jose Mourinho
Antonio Conte insists he is keen to move on from his bitter war of words with Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea boss Conte and Manchester United manager Mourinho have clashed numerous times during the last two years as part of an ongoing feud.
The rivals go head to head at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday and Conte thinks it is time to draw a line under any unsavoury episodes.
“I’m not interested in this topic. Both said something in the past, but we stop,” said Conte.
“For me, the situation has stopped.”
January was dominated by a tit-for-tat public argument between the two coaches.
Mourinho’s comments that he did not need to behave like “a clown” touched a nerve with Conte, leading him to accuse the United boss of having senile dementia.
It descended from there as Mourinho referred to a four-month suspension Conte served in relation to match-fixing, for which the Italian was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Blues manager then called the United boss “a little man” and Mourinho retaliated by saying he treats Conte with “contempt”.
Mourinho, whose second spell as Chelsea boss ended in December 2015, was also uninterested in the ongoing row, although he did not call for an end to it.
“I told you before I’m not going to speak about it. Not at all,” the Portuguese said.
“That’s not the point. Very good manager, fantastic team and that’s what is important for me. Just that.”
While attention has been almost fully focused on the relationship between the two managers, Sunday’s game could have a significant bearing on the race for Champions League qualification.
Champions Chelsea and United have both failed to challenge runaway leaders Manchester City for the title this season, leaving them fighting for a top-four finish alongside Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Conte acknowledges the importance of the fixture, with his fourth-placed team sitting just three points behind second-placed United.
“This is a massive game. A game to try and find a place in the Champions League,” Conte added.
“An important game for us, and an important game for them.
“We have to try and play and try and get three points. To try and finish the game with a good result.”