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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Manchester United U21s beat Liverpool 2-1 as Victor Valdes makes first appearance for the club

Goals from Nick Powell and Paddy McNair gave Manchester United's U21 side victory over Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village.

FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford handed Sunderland or Fulham showdown in fifth round

Bradford's reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company