Antonio Conte sends message to Chelsea FC stars ahead of FC Barcelona trip
Antonio Conte tells his Chelsea FC players to keep their composure in the second leg against FC Barcelona
Antonio Conte has told his Chelsea FC players that they must maintain their composure when they travel to FC Barcelona for the return leg of their Champions League last 16 clash next month.
The Blues were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by the Spanish side at Stamford Bridge in the first leg on Tuesday night despite taking the lead at Stamford Bridge.
Willian fired the west London side into the lead in the 62nd minute at Stamford Bridge, but Lionel Messi struck an equaliser shortly after to hand the visitors an important away goal.
The west London club will now have to forget about the tie for the next few weeks before the return leg in Spain on 14 March at Camp Nou.
And Conte has warned his young players that they will have to stick to their game-plan if they are to have any hope of progressing through to the quarter-finals.
Speaking at his post-match news conference on Tuesday night, Conte said: “You have to respect the opponent and, in this case, when you play against Barcelona, you know very well that if you want to face them box to box you are crazy, you are going to lose the game not only 1-0 or 2-0, but 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0.
“You must use intelligence. We are trying to build something important with a lot of young players, and when you have young players you need experience.
“For this reason you must play an intelligent game, we are not stupid.”
Conte must now prepare his Chelsea FC side for their crunch clash against Manchester United in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues currently find themselves in fourth place in the Premier League table as they chase a top-four finish this term.