Antonio Conte says the Carabao Cup in England is not an important competition while admitting this is an opportunity to test his fringe players against tough opposition, report the Daily Star.
Chelsea will take on Everton in the competition and could serve as a platform for the club to put up some youngsters to showcase their ability against Premier League opposition, while it also gives a good break to the senior players.
However, it has not been greeted with their warmest of welcomes by top coaches in the past decade.
Conte seems to agree with this mentality, admitting this is not priority for the Blues this season.
The Daily Star quote the Chelsea boss, who says:
“Now, if I have to see in a selfish way, I can tell you I agree [that the Carabao Cup isn’t important]. But, we have to try and find the best solution and I try to protect the teams who are playing in Europe. It is not simple.
“On the other hand, this type of game is important as it gives you the chance to see the improvement of the players who have not been playing. I don’t know. It is very difficult to say something about this.”
Chelsea will hope for another win in another competition to further boost their confidence after a bad patch these last few weeks in the Premier League and Champions League.
A win in the round of 16 against the Toffees will see Conte’s men through to the quarter finals of the Football League Cup while competing in the Premier League, Champions League and a start to the FA Cup journey in January as well.