Antonio Conte has told his blue warriors to pump up the volume and keep their title bid staying alive.
Italian boss Conte still finds the ‘boom, boom, boom’ culture of English dressing-room music quite strange, compared to what he was used to in his homeland. But if it fires up his players to be in the right state of mind, then they have his blessing to play whatever they like.
The 47-year-old, whose Chelsea side face Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday bidding to move seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham before they face Arsenal later in the afternoon, said: “I always found it very strange when I first arrived and heard the music at high volume in the dressing room.
“I always thought that before the game you should be focused, no? And I thought silence would help to find the focus.
“The music at Chelsea is always different but, for sure, it’s not classical music.
Insane moves from the Chalobah brothers following Chelsea’s FA Youth Cup victory
“I would like to listen to disco music before the game, or pop music, but it’s impossible for me to bring my favourite music to the changing room.
“The sounds I like depend on different moments. When I stay relaxed, I prefer Italian music — we have a lot of great singers – but when I am excited, I prefer pop music.”
Conte’s compatriot Andrea Bocelli famously performed Nessun Dorma and Time To Say Goodbye at the King Power Stadium as Leicester City celebrated their title triumph a year ago.
Conte added: “Bocelli is a great singer and I watched during the celebrations when Claudio Ranieri invited him to sing for Leicester.
“Who would I invite? We have to win first.”
- Marcos Rojo LIMPS out of stadium after Anderlecht0:05
- Mourinho faces the press after 2-1 victory Anderl7:32
- Luis Enrique reacts as Barcelona bow out of the C1:17
- Zidane faces the press after knocking Bayern Muni0:51
- Carlo Ancelotti calls for video refereeing after 1:03
- Michael Keane: Everything you need to know0:55
- Craig Shakespeare faces the press after bowing ou11:43
- Eddie Howe reacts to Wilshere injury after 4-0 lo2:46
To do that, Conte’s men need 12 points from five games, although that number will be less if second-placed Tottenham drop points. And the Blues boss wants his players to show their warrior spirit to get the job done.
He added: “In this part of the season, it’s very important to have players with good personality, with strong characters, because you must be ready to face a different situation.
“In the team, we have a lot of warriors and I work every day to make them warriors. It’s great to have talent, but I like it when you are a warrior during the game and, above all, if players with talent show they work hard during the game.”
The way Chelsea responded to their 2-0 loss to Manchester United a fortnight ago, beating Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final and Southampton in the league, suggests they have the mentality their boss is demanding.
He said: “After the United defeat, it wasn’t easy to face this type of moment because we had only a four-point lead and then we had to play a semi-final against Spurs, our opponents in the League, after this game.
“We then had to play two and a half days later against Southampton, a team who had rested for 10 days.
“I considered this week crucial, to get to the FA Cup final and for the League. We had to be good to keep these points ahead of Tottenham and we had to face them to reach the final.
“So this was a good answer from my players, but it’s important to defend the right way at Everton as the crucial week is not over yet.”
OUR SUGGESTED CHELSEA PLAYLIST FOR ANTONIO CONTE
My Terry Amour, Stevie Wonder
Running Up That Cahill, Kate Bush
Luiz Luiz, The Kingsmen
Batshuayi I Like It, KC & The Sunshine Band
Kante Stop Me Now, Rod Stewart
Cesc On Fire, Kings Of Leon
Good Year For The Moses, Elvis Costello
Who’s Zouma Who, Aretha Franklin
Ain’t Too Proud To Begovic, Temptations
Alonso Again (Naturally), Gilbert O’Sullivan
Eden Must Be Missing An Angel, Tavares
We Are The Champions, Queen