Antonio Conte said he does not like Jose Mourinho’s “joking” after the Manchester United boss said Premier League leaders Chelsea cannot be caught because they are a “defensive team”.
The Blues are 10 points clear following a 1-1 draw at Burnley on Sunday.
Mourinho, known for playing mind games with his rivals, said they won’t slip up because they are “very defensive” and win with “counter attacks”.
“He’s playing,” said Chelsea manager Conte.
“I have the experience to understand this.”
Mourinho was speaking after his side beat Watford 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run to 16 games. They are sixth, 12 points behind Chelsea.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has previously accused Mourinho of playing mind games, as did Sir Alex Ferguson when he was at Manchester United.
Conte, though, is refusing to get draw into them, adding: “I don’t like to reply about the other coaches.”
Conte congratulates battling Burnley
Chelsea are firmly on course for a second Premier League title in three seasons but endured one of their toughest games of the season at Burnley.
The Clarets have the third best home record in the top flight, with 29 of their 30 points coming at Turf Moor.
On Sunday they restricted Chelsea to just two shots on target – none in the second half – and could have won the game but for a superb Thibaut Courtois save from Matt Lowton.
“The pitch is small and this is better for the team that has to defend and play this long ball,” said Conte.
“You have less pitch to cover and then there is a good atmosphere with the supporters and I think it’s good.
“We found a team that thought to disrupt our football, to play this long ball and to fight the second ball.”
We’ve been here before?
Mourinho has often engaged in psychological battles with his rivals.
When he was Chelsea boss in 2014, he ruled the Blues out of a title battle with Manchester City and also challenged then City boss Manuel Pellegrini over his spending. Pellegrini chose to ignore his counterparts comments.