Antonio Conte doesn’t miss a thing at Chelsea and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic reckons the Italian’s attention to detail has been the key to his instant success at Stamford Bridge.
The former Juventus head coach has led the Blues to the verge of completing a Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season in charge of the west London club.
Training sessions are conducted at high intensity. Strict dietary rules, including the banning of ketchup rules, have been set in place at their Cobham headquarters in Surrey. Tactical discipline is drilled into the players.
Nothing is left to chance and defeats like the 2-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford are dissected at length to ensure mistakes are not repeated as the title race with Tottenham approaches its climax.
Begovic thinks it is that discipline and leadership from the top that has seen Chelsea transform from a team losing confidence under Jose Mourinho to a reinvigorated counter-attacking machine under Conte.
“Training has been good,” Begovic explained to Yahoo Sport UK.
“It has been one of our strong points this year and we’re really fit. We’re on another level to last year.
“He (Conte) works you hard but that’s to be expected and he expects the same effort from you that he puts in himself. He sets the standards throughout the team and has great attention to detail – that is something that’s been great and we’re taking everything on board and reaping the rewards.
“He pays attention to the nutritional side. If we treat our bodies right then we’ll have a better chance of performing in the games and I think our injury record has been very good this season.
“He pays attention to every detail, whether it’s nutrition, preparation, match analysis, everything. Not many things get by him and I think that’s the sign of a really top manager.”
Begovic returned to the starting line-up in Manchester in place of the injured Thibaut Courtois and could step into the breach again at Wembley this weekend if the Belgian fails to recover.
It is there, under the famous arch, where they will meet title rivals Spurs in an FA Cup semi-final blockbuster as Chelsea look to make a huge dent in the confidence of Mauricio Pochettinho’s side ahead of the Premier League run-in.
“I enjoyed being back out there and playing Premier League football again,” Begovic added.
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“It was a big game, in big circumstances, and it’s unfortunate we couldn’t get a better result.
“We’re still in a great position but we know we’ve got a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season to set out to try and achieve what we would like.
“Obviously you want to win every game and getting to the final of the FA Cup is a big goal for us. Tottenham are in our way of doing that. We absolutely want to get straight back to winning ways after a loss and if we win that game then it gives us confidence going forward.
“But at the same time it is a one-off game in the cup and we go back and focus on the league no matter what happens. It will be a great occasion and if we can win that it gives us a nice boost going into the last weeks of the season.”
For more information on the Asmir Begovic Foundation and the Golf Classic on 12th June visit www.asmirbegovicfoundation.com