NEWS
Sunday November 24 2013
Conte: 'Vidal a great defender'

Antonio Conte praised Arturo Vidal’s performance as a centre-back against Livorno and joked “it might be his best role!”

Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez got the second half goals in a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Picchi, putting Juve temporarily top of the table.

“It’s certainly an interesting run of results. The lads are doing something great, even if we are only in Week 13,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’re laying the foundations for the future, but Roma and Napoli are also going very strong and will be up there.

“I liked the performance today, as in this type of game after Real Madrid, Napoli and international duty, a tiny bit of arrogance or complacency can sneak in, but they resisted that.

“We risked hardly anything at the back and earned a very important victory. It’s tough against a team that defends with 10 men and focuses on the counter-attack. At half-time we discussed what wasn’t working and did a lot better to find space after the break.”

Vidal played as a centre-back because Leonardo Bonucci, Angelo Ogbonna, Andrea Barzagli and Stephan Lichtsteiner were all unavailable.

“He made me angry at the end with a slightly complacent move, but overall he did brilliantly. It might even be his best role! That’ll solve my problem of having so many great midfielders, I’ll just play Vidal at the back!”

Now Juventus go into the Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen on Wednesday, a tie they absolutely must win.

“It is in our hands and that is the most important thing. If we do well, then we’ll go forward, but if we don’t then it means we’ll have to improve. The team wants to continue this Champions League experience and well do anything to achieve that.”

Conte had a message for Livorno captain Andrea Luci, who this week revealed his six-year-old son is suffering from a rare genetic disease.

“I spoke with Andrea and told him all of us who are fathers know what it means. I already knew him well, as he played at Juventus in the youth team when I was there and I had wanted to take him to Arezzo. We are close to Andrea and hope for the best for him and his family.”

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