25.08.2013 00:35 - in: Serie A S

    Conte praises Bianconeri versatility

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    "This is a team game and everyone gets involved. I'm not happy with a striker who only scores or defenders that just defend"

    Juve keep going from strength to strength. Having torn Lazio apart in the Italian Super Cup, tonight Conte's side began their Serie A campaign by claiming all three three points against Sampdoria – a team who managed to take six off the Bianconeri last term.

    The coach had good reason to smile after the final whistle: his "veterans" have lost none of their winning mentality while the newcomers have assimilated it already.

    He said: "The more time passes, the more comfortable Carlos, Fernando and Angelo will be with our playing style. They're putting a lot of effort into it and it's not easy but these are top players we're talking about.

    "Tevez not only offers us quality up front but he helps out defensively too with all his harrying. A lot has been said about him but he's certainly not afraid of putting in the hard work.

    "For the third year running we've spent wisely. In the first two years we needed to recruit in numbers. Now we have to a bit less to work with but by making our move early on we've managed to keep costs down. When money's tight you need to come up with smart solutions."

    If that's the case then bringing Tevez to Turin was genius. You need only look at the Argentine's movement on the pitch to understand that he's a perfect fit for Conte's brand of football.

    The coach went on: "I'm not happy with a striker who's static and gets on the score sheet but doesn't get involved in building moves or defending. Tevez has scored twice already but he's also made a huge contribution to the team – that's something all my players have always done."

    If Conte is pleased with the new kid on the block, he'll be equally happy that the 'old' Bianconeri rearguard after they put in another impeccable performance, keeping things tight at the back but also passing the ball up the pitch.

    "I don't like defenders to concentrate on marking alone," Conte explained. "We work very hard on our ball possession and all the lads have made massive progress in that sense. We play a team game and I want everyone to be involved."

    The coach also spared a few words for the Bianconeri midfield and Paul Pogba in particular. The Frenchman was once again at the heart of things and set up the winning goal tonight.

    "We've been working with him for a year now and both the tactical and physical side of his game have come on no end. He's got tremendous talent and he must keep striving to improve. He wants to be the best in the world and it's good to hear him talk like that because he's got everything he needs to become the perfect modern footballer. He has to keep his feet on the ground but he's not getting carried away. He knows what he needs to do to keep improving."

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