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15 Apr 2013

Conte: “Let’s keep pushing on”

Juve’s boss comments on a commanding display: “We’ve taken another step towards our goal, but still require seven points to be mathematically certain”

Antonio Conte urged for continued focus after inspiring his players to take another giant leap towards their second successive Scudetto title with tonight’s 2-0 victory over Lazio.

Addressing reporters in the capital, the 43-year-old said: “We’ve taken another step forward and we’re drawing even closer to our target, but we still need seven points to be mathematically certain. So we won’t talk about it until it’s in the bag, instead we’ll continue to push on.”

Despite the Bianconeri putting themselves firmly in control with Arturo Vidal’s first-half double, Conte remained an animated presence throughout as he urged his men to stave off Lazio’s attempts at a comeback.

“We came up against a very strong team, sometimes a rebound is enough to concede a goal and risk ruining an important position. Those who understand football know that when you have games like these in your grasp, you have to really hold on to them.”

Conte’s starting line-up saw Claudio Marchisio deployed in an unorthodox advanced role in support of lone striker Mirko Vucinic. And the manager believes the Turin-born midfielder relished his new found freedom with a number of intelligent forays into the penalty area.

“Before today, people were talking about tiring midfielders and just to wind them up, I used all four… It doesn’t matter how many forwards you play with, but how many players contribute in attack.

"Marchisio was able to perform this role, helping out in defence and becoming an orthodox striker when he moved forward. He and Vucinic have a really good understanding.

"The missed opportunity? He almost made me have a breakdown, but I’ll forgive him because he played really well.”

This evening’s convincing win in the capital provided the best possible response to the disappointment of Wednesday night’s elimination from the Champions League.

“People shouldn’t be disappointed or despondent. We reached the last eight in Europe and that’s an extraordinary achievement. We’ve remained at the top of the league from last year and if a team like ours gets depressed after going out against Bayern Munich, then I really don’t understand anything about football.”