Antonio Conte wants to avoid a 'Mourinho season' at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho of Manchester United and Antonio Conte of Chelsea during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge on October 23, 2016
Image: Antonio Conte (right) says he wants to avoid a 'Mourinho season' at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is determined to ensure his Premier League champions do not suffer another "Mourinho season" and slump from first place to 10th.

The Blues won the title in 2014/15 under Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho - now in charge of Manchester United - when he returned to Stamford Bridge for a second spell as manager.

However, Chelsea picked up just 11 points from their first 12 league games the following season and Mourinho departed in December, with the London club finishing in mid-table under Guus Hiddink.

Highlights from Chelsea's friendly against Inter Milan. Pictures courtesy of Premier Sports

Conte, 47, who won the Premier League at the first time of asking following his appointment last summer, is wary of letting his players repeat that fall from grace.

Following Chelsea's 2-1 friendly defeat by Inter Milan in Singapore on Saturday, the Italian said: "We know the difficulty of the next season and for sure we want to avoid the Mourinho season with Chelsea.

"Personally, I want to try to avoid the last two seasons. Because two coaches were sacked, from Chelsea and then from Leicester after they won the league. For sure I want to avoid that.

"And we are working very well. I hope to find the best solution in the future. We have a lot of young players and then if it's necessary we have to try to improve these players."

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of Bayern Muenchen battles for the ball with of Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2017 match
Image: Conte saw his side lost 2-1 against Inter Milan on Saturday in Singapore

Conte believes record signing Alvaro Morata still has plenty of work to do ahead of the new campaign, which kicks off against Arsenal in the Community Shield next weekend.

"Morata has just started training with us and has only been able to improve slightly in that time," Conte said.

"He has a long way to go with his physical condition to get up to speed with the style of football we play. He is working very well and today he tried his best but he still has plenty of improving to do."

Chelsea fly back to England on the back of two straight pre-season defeats - a 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich and the 2-1 reverse at the hands of Inter, for whom Stevan Jovetic and Ivan Perisic scored.

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Image: Conte believes Alvaro Morata has a lot of work to do to get up to full physical condition

Geoffrey Kondogbia then inadvertently recorded a consolation for Chelsea with his comical own goal.

Conte, who did oversee a 3-0 friendly win against Arsenal last week, blamed fatigue at the end of a month spent training and playing in hot conditions in the Far East.

"We played against two strong teams in Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in a period that is very important as we are working very hard," said the former Juventus boss.

"To play three games with the same players means you finish and are tired. We are tired, very tired."

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