Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has banned his players from smiling during training sessions as the Italian tactician aims to turn around the club's fortunes, according to the Sun.
The reigning Premier League champions have struggled to emulate last season's form and are 19 points behind league leaders Manchester City.
WATCH: Thierry Henry worries that Antonio Conte could be in "trouble" if he fails to win tonight, but says that there will be no shortage of takers for the Italian if he is sacked by Chelsea.#MNF is LIVE on Sky Sports PL now! pic.twitter.com/976FJ6qWnc— Sky Sports MNF (@SkySportsMNF) February 12, 2018
Conte has been under intense pressure at Stamford Bridge, despite having inspired Chelsea to their first fifth title triumph in 12 seasons, and the coach has been forced to take some drastic measures in order to revitalise his struggling Blues.
“I think that usually when you work you don’t smile. Especially if you work hard. It’s very difficult to smile," Conte was quoted as saying - prior to Monday's 3-0 victory over West Brom - by the Sun.
“Only through work can you reach a fantastic target like last season. Last season, our work allowed us to reach an incredible target.
“Now it’s very difficult to describe my training sessions. When you play every three days, it’s impossible to work on the physical aspects," Conte revealed.
“But if I have time to work with the players for the whole week, you try to start the week with a physical session. Then, in midweek, I start to go on the tactical aspect and prepare for the game.”
Monday's three points took Chelsea above Tottenham and back up to fourth in the league. Conte, whose name was sung throughout the game in a show of support by Blues fans, will now look ahead to Friday's 5th round FA Cup clash against Hull City, before his side is due to face Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League's round of 16 on Tuesday.