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16 Feb 2014 - in: Serie A

Conte satisfied by positive response

The Juve boss reflects on this afternoon’s return to form: “It’s right that I didn’t allow the type of hesitation witnessed in Verona to go unnoticed. These lads continue to surprise me in a positive manner, and I hope they keep doing so”

Antonio Conte spoke glowingly of his team’s return to form after the ghosts of last weekend’s draw with Hellas Verona were banished with a comfortable 3-1 home win over Chievo.

The manager had called for full focus after his men let two points slip through their grasp at the Bentegodi, and saw his wish granted as the reigning champions put on an accomplished display at Juventus Stadium.

Reflecting on a positive afternoon in Turin, the 44-year-old began: “It’s not that I was expecting any particular responses today, the players respond in training. If we’re going to develop, it’s right that I didn’t allow the type of hesitation witnessed in Verona to go unnoticed. I pointed out that we can’t allow ourselves to drop certain points, especially if we want to write history.

“It’s tough to be aggressive for the entire 95 minutes. But we can’t allow ourselves to let up during this particular period. The minute our attention levels drop for a second, everything happens. Chievo didn’t shoot today, it was us who scored their goal. We need to be extremely alert and capitalise on every opportunity, because Roma and Napoli won’t give up.

“It’s not easy for anyone to win for three years in a row, but these lads are doing just that and when I see that there could be the opportunity for them to feel relaxed, I look to keep the tension high. Everyone has surprised me in a positive manner, and I hope they keep doing so.”

Conte ended with a reflection on the “most complete” Juventus side he has presided over since assuming the managerial reins in May 2011.

“This the most complete Juventus side I’ve managed, from a technical, tactical and physical point of view. The first side went through the campaign unbeaten, taking on a Milan outfit featuring a champion like Ibrahimovic - who up until that moment had won the title with every team he’d played for - the treble-winning Inter and Mazzarri’s Napoli with Cavani and Hamsik. Last year we followed up our title-winning achievement and this season we’ve improved in every aspect.”