Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

20 Dec 2012

Nedved and Conte react to last 16 draw

The club director and Bianconeri manager encourage respect for Neil Lennon's high-flying Celtic

Pavel Nedved says Juventus will need to show Celtic plenty of respect when the two sides lock horns in February’s Champions League last 16 encounter.

The 40-year-old, who played at Celtic Park back in 2001, is fully aware of the threat posed by Neil Lennon’s charges after they claimed a famous win over Barcelona in this year’s group stages.

Speaking in Nyon after the draw, Nedved said: “It could have gone a lot worse, but we still need to face Celtic with great respect. They were the only team to beat Barcelona and have qualified for the next round with great credit.

“We’re on a path of development, but many of our players are playing Champions League football for the first time in their careers and will need to be up to the challenge.

“We’ll be stepping into a red-hot atmospere and will encounter difficulties if we’re not fully up to speed. We need to match their intensity, hoping that our players have something extra on a technical level.

“Playing the return leg at home, in front of our public, certainly gives us a slight advantage. If we put in a Juventus style performance then we’ll have a good chance of getting through to the next round.”

Reflecting on the draw following the Bianconeri's training session in Vinovo, Antonio Conte said: “We need to consider our Champions League experience as a path of development, regardless of the opposition we face. 

"Celtic are a good team, they beat Barcelona and qualified from a group containing strong sides such as Benfica and Spartak Moscow. They can count on excellent players like Georgios Samaras and Kris Commons.

“We’ll go into the encounter with great enthusiasm, maximum respect for the Scots and the desire to do our best in our Champions League adventure.”