Antonio Conte has backed Jose Mourinho’s decision to field a weakened team against Chelsea’s title rivals, Spurs, next weekend.

  • Mourinho set to concentrate on Europa League
  • Fielded weakened team against Arsenal, lost 2-0
  • Conte backs Mourinho in decision to choose weakened team against title rivals

Mourinho has confirmed that his focus is currently on winning the Europa League.

If United can win that, they get automatic qualification for the Champions League next season and therefore don’t need a top four finish.

As predicted, while the Portuguese boss fielded a reasonably strong team against Celta Vigo midweek and beat the La Liga team 1-0 away, he put out a weakened side against top four rivals, Arsenal, on Sunday.

In fact, he made no less than eight changes to the side he put out on Thursday night.

Conte believes that this was the right decision and that Mourinho should do the same if he sees fit against Spurs next weekend, despite that almost guaranteeing Tottenham a win, which will keep the pressure on Chelsea at the top.

“Every single coach, every club, must take the best decision for themselves: not for Tottenham or for Chelsea or for another team,” said Conte.

“Honestly I think that we must find the right solution for all the teams when you prepare the fixtures for the end of the season.

“And we must consider if someone is playing in the Champions League or the Europa League. Otherwise you risk managers putting their second team in the FA Cup or Premier League. It’s a pity because it’s a tradition, and you must respect it.

“But if you must play every few days, you must take a decision. In this aspect, it’s right to see very well and to find the right solution for next season.”