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07 Oct 2013 - in: Serie A

Conte satisfied with start to title defence

The Juventus manager analyses the team’s introduction to the 2013/14 campaign following tonight’s 3-2 win over Milan: “When the fixtures came out I would have more than settled for six wins and a draw from our first seven games”

Antonio Conte has expressed his satisfaction at the Bianconeri’s overall start to their title defence - but concedes there is still plenty room for improvement.

The manager claims the reigning champions put in a decent display in this evening’s 3-2 win over Milan at Juventus Stadium, but was again left to rue an early defensive lapse in concentration which saw Sulley Muntari snatch the lead with just 19 seconds on the clock.

Assessing the overall picture, the 44-year-old began: “When the fixtures came out I would have more than settled for six wins and a draw from the first seven games. It was a good performance against a decent Milan side tonight, but we need to improve.

“We needed another jolt to wake ourselves up, we’ve been conceding from our opponents’ first opportunities for some time now.”

The second-half introductions of Paul Pogba and particularly Sebastian Giovinco proved pivotal as the Bianconeri edged their noses in front through the striker’s expertly taken first goal of the season.  

Commenting on the substitutions and Giovinco’s impact, Conte continued: “Decisive changes? I thought the ones I made on Wednesday would also prove the same, but that’s not how it panned out. Unfortunately our performances are always analysed based on the result itself.

“What interests me is that my players are always ready to make a contribution. That’s why I’m particularly happy for Giovinco, he receives too much criticism from the environment that surrounds Juventus, instead he must be supported.”