A goal via two defenders is still a goal and for Palace it contributed to a victory against last season’s champions.
Conte opens his interview answering a question on the impact of injuries and the international break and whether this was the cause of defeat.
” I don’t know for sure – to play without three important players is not simple, the game was not simple.”
” We need to try to understand this situation, to work to put it right despite these issues. ”
He declines to share what we he said at half-time to the players.
“I prefer always to keep private what I tell in the first-half and in the second-half.”
Instead he throws the conversation forward.
“Now we have to prepare for the next game in the Champions League and try to do our best.”
And he refuses to answer a question on the gap developing at the top of the Premier League.
“At the end of the season we will see what happens.”
Instead he draws on the rhetorical technique of Epizeuxis to stress what he needs his team to do next.
“In these circumstances we must work, work, work, work, work, work to try to do our best.”
Leadership communication lesson
A loss as much as a victory is an opportunity for a leader to reinforce the behaviours he expects and demands from his team. Conte may not make the specifics visible in his post-match interview, but you can be in no doubt as to the approach he wants from his players. Repetition is a powerful and underused communication tool for many leaders. An audience will always remember much less than you imagine, so repeat and repeat again the messages you want to land.