Conte all set for Juve return

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte is relishing taking charge of his first home match of the season.

Last Updated: 11/12/12 at 16:23 Post Comment

Antonio Conte: Thanks supporters for standing by him

Antonio Conte: Thanks supporters for standing by him

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte is relishing taking charge of his first home match of the season and has hailed the club's fans for their support during his exile.

Conte returned to the touchline in Sunday's 1-0 win at Palermo following a four-month suspension - reduced from 10 on appeal - for his alleged failure to report match-fixing while in charge of Siena.

The 43-year-old is glad to be back on the bench and admitted Wednesday's Coppa Italia clash against Cagliari at the Juventus Stadium will be a special occasion.

"Tomorrow will be emotional for me, but I don't buy into the notion that supporters will come to the stadium just to see me," he told the club's website. "They'll turn up to thank the team and see an entertaining spectacle, as they're used to doing. I hope I can reward them with a win.

"The fans have been fundamental in the moments of anger and discouragement. They've always pushed me to keep going, they've stayed close to me and never failed to show their support.

"What I've missed the most, though, is the physical contact with my players. Embracing them at the end of the Palermo game was the best thing about coming back."

Juventus have hardly stagnated in Conte's absence and are on course for an historic, if highly unlikely at this stage, treble.

The Bianconeri are four points clear of the chasing pack at the top of Serie A in their bid to retain a Scudetto they won last season, and with the club also competing in the Coppa Italia and the Champions League, the Turin club are flying.

Yet Conte is urging caution, saying: "We're certainly more aware of our capabilities. At this time last year we were still a big question mark.

"This year there's greater conviction, brought about from winning the Scudetto and Supercoppa, reaching the Coppa Italia final and being deservedly top of the league.

"We've got a four-point lead over second place and it's a good margin, but it could be easily reduced if we don't keep winning."

While Conte has bemoaned Juventus' lack of outlay over the summer, he is convinced his current group of players are good enough to win back-to-back league titles.

"This year we dipped into the transfer market without splashing money around, looking to reinforce the foundations we had in place with players such as (Kwadwo) Asamoah and (Mauricio) Isla, bringing (Sebastian) Giovinco back and acquiring free transfers like (Paul) Pogba," Conte added.

"I hope that one day we'll be able to purchase players worth 35, 40, 45 million euros. Then we'll be able to start looking at the likes of PSG, Real (Madrid), the two Manchester sides and Bayern (Munich).

"Now we need to remain calm and continue our path. It's important to follow up last year's Scudetto achievement, whilst maintaining our Champions League run to continue the project started by the club.

"There are teams like Inter, Milan, Roma, Lazio and Napoli who will do everything to enjoy a strong season and we mustn't ever give up. We need to be ruthless, determined and eager. It would be nice to win it again."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

B

rilliant article. Anything that makes a man of Scolari's age wear a cap with a hashtag on it will surely precede a disaster

westwoodbo
Brazil Team Over-Subscribed To Idea Of Neymar As Deity

R

ather than Sanchez nearly done could you provide the completion status please? Maybe today Sanchez deal 72% done and then tomorrow Sanchez deal 74.3% done , leading up to 100% on the evening of the transfer window close day. Thank you.

CamberleyGooner
The Autopilot Gossip

L

ast five Arsenal captains: Gallas, Fabregas, Van Persie, Vermaelen, Arteta. Talk about a poisoned chalice...

juan de gunnaz
The Sluggish Gossip

Footer 365

Transfer news: Arsenal complete signing of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for a fee believed to be £35million.

World Cup: Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal insists third-place play-off

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal insists a World Cup third-place play-off "has got nothing to do whatsoever with sport."

FIFA rejects Luis Suarez appeal against ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini

FIFA has rejected an appeal from Luis Suarez against his four-month worldwide ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.

Mail Box

Mails: It's Not Entertainment, It's Sport...

When did we start getting the idea that football was an entertainment business? It's about winning and winning alone. We also have some defences of Louis van Gaal...

Do England Need Scholes, Lineker Etc?

They've all got ideas about where things are going wrong, so why don't they step up and help? Plus, we have lots of fall-out from the dullness of Holland v Argentina...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property