Antonio Conte has called on his team to keep their eyes fixed firmly on the prize as they stand on the brink of achieving this season’s primary goal of a third consecutive Scudetto title.
A win or draw for Catania against Roma this afternoon would mathematically ensure Scudetto honours for the Bianconeri, otherwise it will be left down to Conte’s men to complete the job themselves against Atalanta tomorrow night.
And the Bianconeri boss, who has experience of a similar situation during his time with Bari, insists that getting over the line is what counts, regardless of the manner in which it happens.
Speaking in Vinovo, he began: “The most important thing is that the Scudetto arrives. When I coached Bari we achieved promotion with four games to spare while we were watching Livorno play and it was still a nice moment.
“It would be a historic achievement, as Juventus haven’t won three consecutive titles since Carcano’s ‘Quinquennio’ side. Many great teams and managers have tried since but haven’t been able to. But it still isn’t in the bag yet and we’ve got a game against Atalanta to play.”
This year’s title race has been taken right down to the wire by a formidable opponent in Roma, who Conte credited for pushing his men beyond their limits in a bid to retain their Serie A supremacy.
“They’ve brought out the best in us. We’ve had, and still have, a top rate opponent who is pushing us to keep our foot down on the accelerator. That’s why we’ve claimed 93 points, surpassing great Juventus teams of the past, but still haven’t won the Scudetto.
“I feel I need to compliment Roma, but also Napoli on their Coppa Italia victory and also Fiorentina. Aside from the off-field events, it was a wonderful game.”
After digesting the inevitable early disappointment of Thursday’s Europa League exit, Conte was in philosophical mood when asked about his views on the Bianconeri’s European campaign, stating the experience gained will serve his men in good stead for the future.
“I reviewed the game and am satisfied with our development and consolidation in Europe. Dropping into the Europa League enabled us to gain greater experience and sample what it’s like to play in the semi-final, a first for many of our players.
“Last year we went out with no regrets as we were up against a stronger side. This year there’s the satisfaction of competing and perhaps deserving more against a team that’s sixth in the UEFA ranking. We’re seventeenth.
“I hope that next year we can grow even more and teams like Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina help Juventus to regain a more important UEFA ranking for Italy.”