Ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville expects Antonio Conte’s second season in charge of Chelsea to be a much sterner test for a number of reasons.
“I think there are three big challenges moving forward for Conte and Chelsea next season,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“The first is a physical one. Those eight, ten, twelve matches less. Make no mistake about it, that’s an incredibly big advantage when you play less football.
“You have more time to prepare, to recover. It’s a big advantage against other teams that are in Europe.
“When you’re not in the Champions League or Europa League you have a huge advantage, so the biggest challenge moving forward is physicality.
“[The] second challenge is mental. These players are the same players who have let Chelsea down before. They’ve climbed the mountain and can’t get themselves up for next season.
“I can’t imagine that they’re going to drop to tenth next season but Antonio Conte’s big job is re-motivating those players.”
Someone please tell Neville that Conte isn’t scared of facing challenges.