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Published: 15:38 | 23/7/16

Conte plays down tactical overhaul


New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says team spirit is more important than tactics in the Premier League.

Chelsea appointed Conte as their long-term successor to Jose Mourinho in April, with the 46-year-old finally taking over from caretaker boss Guus Hiddink after his Italy contract ended when the Azzurri were knocked out of Euro 2016 by Germany on penalties at the quarter-final stage.

The former Juventus boss preferred to play a 3-5-2 formation at club and international level with Juve and Italy, but says he is comfortable with the 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 most teams prefer in the Premier League..

"Three at the back, four at the back - it’s not important," he said.

"What is important is the right spirit in the team and to give good organisation and good training on tactical and physical aspects. I think I can improve my players a lot."

Conte says he learned a lot from the coaches he played under at club and international level with Juventus and Italy.

The Lecce-born midfielder represented his home-town team for five years after making his debut as a 16-year-old in 1986, before joining Juve in 1991, where he won five Serie A titles, the Champions League and the Uefa Cup in his 13 years in Turin.

"I had fantastic managers in my career," he told Chelsea TV. [Marcello ] Lippi, [Arrigo] Sacchi, [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Giovanni] Trapatoni.

"Every one of them gave me something. It's very important. The tactical ideas are mine. I developed these in offensive situations."

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