07.04.2014 22:33 - in: Serie A S

    Conte: “All still to play for”

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    Antonio Conte steels his men for the challenge of maintaining their lead at the top of Serie A in the remaining six games of the Scudetto race

    Juventus boss Antonio Conte has urged his men not to let their standards slip as the Scudetto race enters its final six games.

    The Bianconeri put further daylight between themselves and Roma with tonight’s 2-0 win over Livorno, a success that restored their eight-point advantage at the top of Serie A.

    But with such a strong Giallorossi side on their tails, the manager believes nothing can be taken for granted and has called for strength until the very end if Juve are to reach their targets both domestically and in Europe.

    Speaking to the media after tonight’s win at Juventus Stadium, the 44-year-old began: “It’s absolutely not over yet. It’s a compelling race between two teams that are beating records. There are six games left and it’s all to play for: we’ll need to be on our game to produce more of the same.”

    Moving on to address today’s performance, his overall verdict was positive, although there was one aspect he flagged up for improvement next time.

    “In the first half we allowed Livorno a few counter-attacks. We attacked with seven players, and although on the one hand it’s nice to see a team that wants to go forward, on the other you need to maintain the right balance because conceding at this stage of the season can put you off track.

    “In the second half, though, we controlled things well and didn’t give them a sniff.”

    Juve were once again faced with the task of breaking down a defensive set-up tonight, and Conte went on to explain the tactical approach required to counteract it.

    “We’re used to playing against teams who sit back, and in that situation you need to move the ball quickly, as well as being patient and attentive. We needed to be good at pulling them out of position and we managed to do so.”

    To finish, an appeal to the fans who were as devoted as ever tonight to show the same support again when the Bianconeri host Lyon on Thursday.

    “We want to reach the semi-final: It would be nice for an Italian team to return to those levels, but it won’t be easy. Lyon beat Valenciennes and have good counter-attacking players.

    “I hope to see the stadium full and the fans getting behind the lads. We need them during this home straight.”

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