Antonio Conte has told Jose Mourinho – I’m not interested in your mind-games or technical-area argy-bargy.
And he insists he would much rather focus on guiding his team on the sidelines than get into a sideshow scrap with a counterpart.
It has not been easy for manager Conte to do that this season when he has faced Mourinho, or to ignore the Special One’s jibes at the club that sacked him for a second time in December 2015.
Mourinho has criticised Chelsea fans and tactics, and occasionally even his compliments have been backhanded.
Opposite number Conte has preferred to chose his words carefully in response and said: “Look, many coaches try to manipulate the ideas and try to make the other person, not understand, but put the other person in the way they want.
“But it’s not important for me. It’s important to continue to work and have our idea of football.”
Mourinho was fuming about Conte’s celebrations as Chelsea thumped United 4-0 in October, and the pair clashed during last month’s FA Cup tie, which the Blues also won by a solitary goal.
Conte insists there are no problems between the two and it is simply a “sporting conflict” between them when things boil over on the sidelines.
- Harry Redknapp talks about the awful signing of C2:42
- Troy Deeney’s Watford knowledge is put to the test1:01
- Nascar drivers Kyle Busch Joey Logano get into hu0:35
- Antonio Conte speaks ahead of Manchester United c18:06
- Pigs stop play as fans protest against owners0:41
- Sead Kolasinac scores brilliant goal in Schalke f0:18
- William Hill: Robbie Savage’s “Sav Acca”0:54
Mourinho and Conte speak after Chelsea dump United out of FA Cup
Asked if he relished it when there is needle between him and an opposing boss, he said: “No, no. I don’t like.
“I prefer to be more focused on my team. But sometimes it can happen.
“It’s normal for me and other coaches to have this situation. But if you ask me if I like it or not, I don’t. I’d prefer to be focused on my team and the game during the match, so I can find the right solution if my team is in difficulty.
“I have zero problems. It’s only a sporting competition between him and me. There is a game of football. I want to try and win with my team.
“He wants to try and win with his team. It’s normal to be a conflict during the game, but only a sporting conflict.”