Tottenham news: Antonio Conte plays down feud with Jose Mourinho ahead of friendly with Roma

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Antonio Conte has looked to play down his personal feud with Jose Mourinho by insisting their previous clashes are now in the past and that they have a mutual goal.

Conte’s Spurs side take on Mourinho’s Roma in Israel on Saturday in what will be their final pre-season game ahead of the Premier League kicking off next weekend.

There is already a certain element of bite to the fixture given Mourinho’s unhappy spell in charge of the north London side ending with his sacking in 2021, but Conte and Mourinho have often feuded bitterly in the past.

Conte though believes that their common target of trying to drag their respective sides into fights for domestic titles will unite them though and claimed they will hug in a sign of respect before kick off.

‘We have a mutual respect and our histories in football speak for us. Now everything is good and tomorrow for sure there will be a hug between us,’ Conte said in his press conference.

‘I think I’m seeing a similar situation between Roma and Tottenham because both clubs want to build, to go step by step to fight against a team that in the past dominated in Italy, Juventus and also one season Inter, Milan.

‘For us City, Liverpool, Chelsea, United. It’s a good comparison because we have the same target.’

The two managers first feuded six years ago when Conte arrived at Chelsea, with his side beating Mourinho’s Manchester United 4-0, with the Italian’s celebration during the victory earing him a verbal confrontation from Mourinho at the final whistle.

Mourinho has since gone on to joke about Conte’s previous fading hairline, saying he would ‘not lose my hair talking about Antonio Conte’.

Conte is known for his enthusiasm on the touchline, which was again poked fun of by Mourinho in 2018 who claimed he did not need to ‘act like a clown’, prompting Conte to hit back by insisting that his rival must have been suffering ‘senile dementia’ following his own past touchline histrionics.

Mourinho then slyly claimed he had ‘never been suspended for match-fixing’ indirectly referring to Conte’s time at Siena over a decade ago, even though the Italian was innocent of any wrong doing and was never charged in relation to it during his time at the club.

The reference though drew ire from Conte though who responded by calling Mourinho ‘a small man’ before adding: ‘He was a small man in the past and he will be in future. When is the game against United? We can meet in a room. To try and explain about these comments. I don’t know if he is ready to meet me in a room, just me and him.’

The rivalry has simmered since with the lack of fixtures between the pair and it appears enough water has now passed under the bridge for them to put their history behind them.

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