Rumoured Chelsea boss Conte impresses Azpilicueta

Date published: Saturday 26th March 2016 2:53

Antonio Conte: Has a head of hair most managers would be jealous of

Cesar Azpilicueta admits he was impressed by Antonio Conte’s tactics after Italy held Spain to a 1-1 draw in Udine on Thursday. 

Conte, who has confirmed he will step down as Italy manager following Euro 2016, is widely expected to be named Chelsea boss in the summer.

And Blues full-back Azpilicueta, who started at the Stadio Friuli, says the Azzuri’s gameplan caused Spain plenty of problems, especially in comparison to Roy Hodgson’s England.

“Italy played a really high-intensity game,” he said.

“In the first half we were not able to get out of the pressure and to get control of the game. We were in trouble because we had to defend and they have dangerous players. It was a difficult game.

“They play with three or five at the back and they were trying to press high in midfield. They were fresh but in the second half we put more people in midfield and they were not able to press so easily.

“If we are able to control the game it is by passing the ball. England were not able to get the ball from us. This was the difference. Against Italy we missed a lot of passes, sometimes easy passes when we should have been able to make a counter-attack.

“Against England, we played an amazing game and they were not able to get the ball.”

Earlier this week Conte, who led Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles, refused to be drawn on speculation regarding the Chelsea job, a stance repeated by Azpilicueta.

“We don’t know yet,” he responded when asked about such reports. “We are focusing on the end of the season with Guus Hiddink as our manager.

“We will try to finish as high as possible to get close to the European places because what we have been doing until this moment is not enough for Chelsea. We will try to finish well and then the club will make a decision.”

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