A furious Antonio Conte said suggestions that his Chelsea players were unhappy with his training methods were “bulls---” as he lashed out at speculation that he was set to be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti.
The Chelsea manager also reacted angrily to reports that his players had been in contact with former assistant coach Steve Holland to complain about Conte’s intensive training sessions.
In an angry press conference ahead of his side’s trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, Conte said: “Around us there is a lot of bulls---. I see in the past it happened the same with a lot of managers. A lot of bulls---. They try to create problems between me, the club and players.”
Conte said Holland, who left the club at the end of last season to become assistant manager of England under Gareth Southgate, had contacted him to say it was not true that unhappy Chelsea players had been complaining to him about training. “This is a lack of respect,” Conte said. “I can accept that to write the club is ready to sack me and the story with the players.
“I can accept this, but to put another person [Holland] in this way I think is incorrect and it is not good that this person has to send me a message to tell me, ‘I am sorry but this is not true’. Why put another person in this bull----? If you want to hit me, hit me.” Conte has come under increasing pressure this season after a difficult start to the campaign in which Chelsea have lost to Burnley, Manchester City and Crystal Palace in the Premier League. They are fourth in the table, nine points behind Pep Guardiola’s City.