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Antonio Conte hits back at Jose Mourinho after Norwich City FA Cup stalemate

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised Norwich City's efforts - but was less charitable towards old rival Jose Mourinho. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised Norwich City's efforts - but was less charitable towards old rival Jose Mourinho. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Antonio Conte praised Norwich City’s spirited FA Cup display against Chelsea - before upping the ante in his feud with Manchester United rival Jose Mourinho.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hsa become embroiled in a verbal spat with Antonio Conte in recent days. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hsa become embroiled in a verbal spat with Antonio Conte in recent days. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

The Italian’s post-match press call at Carrow Road after Saturday’s 0-0 third round tie was predictably dominated by the verbal tit-for-tat in recent days with Mourinho.

Simmering tensions between Conte and his predecessor as Chelsea boss ignited on Friday, when Mourinho made reference to match-fixing allegations.

Conte had been accused of failing to report his knowledge of an incident of attempted match-fixing during his time as Siena boss in 2011 and served a four-month touchline ban in 2012.

He was acquitted of any wrongdoing over the matter in 2016, shortly before taking over at Chelsea and Mourinho’s revisiting of the matter irked the Blues boss.

“The situation is very clear. I don’t have anything to clarify,” said Conte. “It will be the opportunity in the game against United when we go to Old Trafford (on February 25). Me and him face to face. I’m ready. I don’t know if he’s ready.

“I consider him a little man, I consider him a man with a very low profile.

“When there are these types of comments, before (making them) you have to know very well the truth.

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“Before you make this type of comment, before to hurt another person, you must pay great attention. You show you are a little man.

“I know him very well in the past. In the past he was a little man in many circumstances, is a little man in the present and for sure he will be a little man in the future.”

Conte admitted his much-changed Blues’ line up failed to spark in Norfolk.

“The game was very tough, especially in the first half. Offensively we were poor,” he said. “In the second half we tried to improve, we created the chances to score. “At the end Norwich deserved to have a replay at Stamford Bridge. They defended very well.”

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…

Paddy Davitt on Twitter @paddyjdavitt

Paddy Davitt on Instagram @pj_davitt

Paddy Davitt on Periscope @paddyjdavitt

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