Antonio Conte assured Juventus “will play to win” in Istanbul after beating Copenhagen 3-1. “Our destiny is in our hands.”
Tonight’s victory means the Bianconeri will qualify for the Champions League knockouts if they avoid defeat away to Galatasaray. The Turkish side lost 4-1 to a Real Madrid side that was down to 10 men for an hour.
“We knew Copenhagen were dangerous with balls flung into the box, from a free kick in the first game and a throw-in this time. We made life complicated for ourselves, but did well to get straight back on track with a second and third goal,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.
“This was a deserved victory in every aspect, though I would’ve been much happier if we had not conceded that goal.
“Our European journey last season was virgin territory, as we hadn’t been in Europe before under my tenure. This year we made life difficult for ourselves in previous games against Copenhagen and Galatasaray, perhaps also against Real Madrid, so if we hadn’t dropped those points we’d already be qualified.”
Conte assured Juventus will not play for a draw against Roberto Mancini’s Galatasaray, even though that would suffice for qualification.
“It will be very fiery in Istanbul, but we put ourselves in this situation and have to deal with it. Our destiny is in our hands, so that is the important thing, as we don’t have to rely on anyone else’s results.
“Our DNA does not allow for calculations. We are going there to win and that is the only way we know how to play. If Galatasaray do better, then we will applaud them, but we are incapable of sitting back and waiting for opponents to come at us. We took the game to Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid, so we’ll do it to Galatasaray, that is beyond doubt.”
Juve have been revived over the last few weeks, specifically since the 4-2 defeat to Fiorentina.
“Results have certainly improved over the last month and a half, but I don’t think the performances were that different. When you get that slap in the face we did against Fiorentina, which nobody expected, it perhaps shook up the pride and determination that had slightly settled.
“As I always say, I trust this team because I have great men even more than great players, so they know when something is wrong and are hyper-critical of their own performances.”