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Eddie Howe: Mourinho and Conte fine to defend themselves in feud

Eddie Howe: Mourinho and Conte fine to defend themselves in feud
From ESPN - January 13, 2018

Eddie Howe has refused to rule out employing the kind of mind games that have dominated the recent spat between Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea boss Conte vowed he would not forget criticism from Mourinho, also branding his Manchester United counterpart a "little man."

Mourinho had earlier escalated the duo's feud by claiming he would never be "suspended for match-fixing,"referencing Conte's four-month suspension at Juventus for failing to report match-fixing at previous club Siena. In that Italian football case, Conte was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Bournemouth manager Howe conceded he would be willing to depart from his measured demeanour to dip into the well-established tradition of mind games -- but only if absolutely necessary.

"It would be foolish of me to say I would not do that, because I would always protect my players and the club," said Howe. "So never say never, you just do not know what situation you will be put in with your team.

"You may find yourself needing to protect your team, your club. But I do not necessarily think it's in my nature to court that kind of media coverage.

"I am just intrigued really to look at it from my perspective as a manager, and to analyse it that way.

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