Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

09 Mar 2014 - in: Serie A

Conte: “Let’s not drop our guard”

Following this afternoon’s success over Fiorentina, the Bianconeri boss encourages his men to maintain their scintillating championship pace in order to fend off the chasing pack

Antonio Conte has called on Juventus to keep their foot firmly on the accelerator as the race for this season’s Scudetto title enters its final straight.

After masterminding this afternoon’s 14th straight Serie A home victory at the expense of Fiorentina, the 44-year-old warned his team of the perils of resting on their laurels at this delicate stage of the campaign.  

Speaking to reporters at Juventus Stadium, Conte began: “We mustn’t let up. Today’s victory and last weekend’s success over Milan puts pressure on the chasing pack. There are 11 games remaining and even though we’ve got 72 points, we’re being hotly pursued and the others could capitalise on any potential slip-ups.  

“Our home form? In the first year we went the entire season unbeaten, while last campaign only Inter and Sampdoria managed to get the better of us here. This time around, touch wood, we’ve been diligent so far.”

A dominant first-half, in which Kwadwo Asamoah opened the scoring three minutes before the break, then gave way to a slightly subdued second period, with Conte attributing the uncustomary dip in energy levels to midweek internationals.

But the Bianconeri boss believes his men deserve credit for grinding out an important win and limiting Vincenzo Montella’s outfit to just one clear-cut chance over the course of the 90 minutes.  

“It wasn’t an easy game to win and credit to us for doing so. We penned them in their own box during the first half, creating plenty of occasions. An element of tiredness crept in after the break, given that we had seven internationals on the pitch who played during the week, some of whom returned on Thursday night.

“But we did well and managed to restrict them to a solitary opportunity – Matos’ header which hit the crossbar. Aside from that, I thought we were relatively untroubled.”

Ending with a thought on matchwinner Asamoah, Conte added: “He’s got a great shot on him and his an exceptional guy. I don’t think he gets the full recognition he deserves.”