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14 Apr 2014 - in: Serie A

Conte: “Another step forward”

The Bianconeri boss applauds his players for passing another tough test with flying colours: “We were up against a team in excellent physical shape who wanted to pull off a result. We did well to handle the game with the right spirit”

Antonio Conte has heaped praise on his team’s attitude after seeing them take another step closer to a third successive Scudetto success with this evening’s 2-0 triumph over Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.

The Bianconeri manager spoke of the detailed tactical preparations that were involved in combating the counter-attacking threat of an Udinese side who have proved to be tricky customers on home soil this season.

Addressing the media in Udine, the 44-year-old said: “It was a high-risk one for us. We were up against a team in excellent physical shape who wanted to pull off a result. When you play against Udinese you need to be aware that they’ll let you dictate the game before breaking on the counter.

“We reviewed the first meeting when we almost got caught short twice and worked on avoiding that. We did very well to handle the game with the right spirit.”

“Having said that we’ll look to keep pushing on because we know the season isn’t over yet. Today we’ve made another step forward, but we’ll have to pull out all the stops against Bologna on Saturday and I’m expecting to see a Juventus Stadium packed to the rafters to spur us on to victory.”

South American duo Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal were both left out of the starting line-up for tonight’s trip, and Conte explained his reasoning behind his teamsheet.

He concluded: “They were enforced changes. We decided to keep Carlos on the sidelines because he’s still carrying an adductor problem and there was the risk of losing him for the remainder of the season. The same applies for Vidal, even if he would have played with just one leg. Bonucci needed a rest and Ogbonna has now recovered.”