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Conte to curb behaviour, ask players to speak to officials instead

Antonio Conte will alter his approach to speak to match officials following his sending-off against Swansea City on Wednesday.

Fiery: Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
Fiery: Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.

CHELSEA BOSS Antonio Conte will not contest his sending-off against Swansea City – and will try to implement a new approach to raising issues with match officials.

The fiery Italian was dismissed from the dugout by referee Neil Swarbrick on Wednesday after remonstrating vociferously with fourth official Lee Mason over what he perceived to be time-wasting by the Welsh club.

Conte apologised in the immediate aftermath of the 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge – secured by an Antonio Rudiger header – but was nevertheless hit by a misconduct charge by the Football Association a day later.

The former Juventus and Italy boss has accepted the charge and the accompanying fine, and is intending to alter his approach towards officials in the future.

He told reporters ahead of Saturday’s home game with Newcastle United: “I think it’s right to accept and to pay the fine.

“As I said after the game, if the referee took this decision I have to respect it. I want to respect his decision and pay the fine.

“They were wasting time and I think the referee has to protect the team that wants to win and play football.

“I was angry because, despite it happening twice, I said to the fourth official ‘look, they are wasting time’.

“In the future I will tell my players on the pitch to try to tell the referee. I’ll try to avoid suggesting things to the fourth official.”

Conte confirmed David Luiz and Charly Musonda will miss the weekend clash through injury with further changes expected against slumping opposition.

He added: “In this busy period it’s normal to have rotation and to give rest to all the players.

“When you have to play in four competitions, rotation is normal. It’s right for every player to accept my decision.

“I trust my players, I believe in them and I want to give them the chance to show me they deserve to play.”

Chelsea go into matchday 15 11 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City and Conte accepted it would be hard to catch Pep Guardiola’s men, who have specialised recently in late wins.

“It’s right to believe that we can catch them up,” he said.

“It’s right for the mentality, it’s right that in every game to show the will to fight. [But] at the same time, in this moment it’s very difficult [to catch them] for many reasons. They are getting good results at the end of the game many times, this shows great will from Manchester City to push until the end and win the game.

“We have to look at ourselves and go game by game. We have to see which teams stay above us and then to try to catch them.”

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