Antonio Conte says he is happy with his team’s improved performance in this evening’s 1-1 Europa League last 16 first leg meeting with Fiorentina at Juventus Stadium.
The 44-year-old admits there is inevitable disappointment in the dressing room after Mario Gomez cut the Bianconeri’s one-goal advantage with just 11 minutes remaining – but insists there were plenty of positives to take from the team’s second meeting with the Viola in just five days.
Speaking after the final whistle, the 44-year-old said: “We’re disappointed with the result, but not the performance. I can’t take anything away from the lads, who expressed themselves better than they did on Sunday.
“We created plenty, hit the bar and had a big opportunity with Pogba. We were also a bit unlucky because we could have scored more than we did.”
The goal conceded in the dying stages of the game means the Bianconeri will have to score in Florence to stand any chance of progressing, and Conte joined captain Gigi Buffon in reflecting on the build-up to the Viola’s precious away strike.
“We lost possession in the middle of the park and the ball over the top caught us by surprise. Gomez did well to get it under control and beat Buffon when he was coming off his line.”
Concluding with a thought on the affair as an advert for the Italian game abroad, he added: “I think it was a decent game and both teams were good ambassadors for Italian football in Europe.”