Antonio Conte believes Milan will fight for the Scudetto and blasted Juventus critics. “These murmurs trying to destabilise us are the enemy.”
The Bianconeri host Milan on Sunday evening at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“We can still bring enthusiasm to the fans in this third year. I am not remotely surprised that people are trying to destabilise the collective and damage the club’s environment,” said Conte in his Press conference.
“We haven’t lost yet and these murmurs are the enemy, the enemy that is hiding in every corner. All of it can cause us problems, but I am relaxed as we work hard, so there’s nothing to recriminate.”
The grumbling in the media has been growing with a series of fightbacks to earn points and on Wednesday Juve drew 2-2 with Galatasaray in the Champions League.
“We are getting our players back towards their best shape. In Serie A we are fighting against a super Roma side who have won six out of six, while we won five and drew one, so at the moment we are where we expected to be.
“We seem to be in this situation where if we don’t win then people say we’re worthless, but I understand that. I remember last season early on we had fortunate victories over Genoa and Siena. As you can see, last year it wasn’t an easy journey either.
“I repeat, criticism of Juventus is predictable. We are well aware that we can always improve, especially at the start of the season, but the same people panicking now are the ones who a few weeks ago said we’d be unstoppable. I’m used to it and these comments have become funny to me, like hearing a joke.
“In Europe we had more shots on goal than any other team, which is an important and positive statistic. There were a few too many individual errors, but these things can happen. I have faith in my lads.”
If Juve are being criticised, then Milan received a mauling after falling 10 points adrift of Serie A leaders Roma and drawing 1-1 with Ajax midweek.
“It is a challenge between two great teams who are targeting the Scudetto,” insisted Conte.
“If Milan had not been up against this Juventus over the last two years, they would’ve won one or even both those titles. The Rossoneri have an excellent group of players who have belief in their qualities and for three seasons have been consistently at the top of Italian football.
“This will certainly be a match between two teams who can take the Scudetto. Alessandro Matri? I hope he doesn’t start scoring in a Milan shirt against us! He’s an excellent player and a lovely guy who will go far.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!