May 6, 2017

Conte: Europe Will Be Difficult  (Sky Sports)

Antonio ConteChelsea head coach Antonio Conte thinks the strength of the Premier League makes it difficult to mount a combined domestic and European challenge.

The Italian is bidding to take the Blues to a league and FA Cup double in his first season at Stamford Bridge, but has not had European football to contend with.

Chelsea, who play Middlesbrough on Monday, need six points to win the title and could secure it before second-placed Tottenham next play after Spurs' 1-0 loss at West Ham on Friday night.

Former Italy and Juventus boss Conte believes the competitive nature of the English top flight impacts on continental competition and the England team.

Conte said: "This league is very difficult. It's strong. It's a totally different to the Italian or Spanish leagues.

"Every single game you must fight a lot and, I think, also, for this reason, it's not easy to arrive at the end of a European competition.

"Also for the national team, it's very difficult to try and do very well in the World Cup or the Euros because you arrive at the end of the season and the players are tired.

"Every game is very tough, every game you must put all yourself in the game.

"If you think you're playing for a team who is playing at the medium level, you're actually preparing for a defeat."

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