Friday April 18 2014
‘An exciting time for Juve’

Antonio Conte says that the duel Scudetto and Europa League push should be an exciting time for Juventus, even if the risk of disappointment exists.

The Bianconeri could move a step closer to a third consecutive League title tomorrow when they host Bologna ahead of second place Roma facing Fiorentina, and then in midweek the Old Lady faces Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.

“First and foremost, for us this should be an exciting time, because we are running on two fronts and it would be great to be able to win on both,” Conte has considered to reporters today.

“But as I always say, we reason from game to game, because whilst this could be an exciting period and a moment when we reach the end of our path we are on, it could also be a time of great disappointment if we do not succeed.

“We have to be very careful at these moments, focus game by game.

“Tomorrow Bologna arrive and for us that is really the game of our lives, because to win at home against Bologna would be a huge step towards the Scudetto.

“We are favourites now, but tomorrow I believe that we would take a huge step forward and my belief would go up.

“Then we will focus on the Europa League knowing that we face a team that is doing important things.

“They won the Cup in Portugal this week, they are leading their League, they are in the semi-final of the Europa League and last year were finalists - certainly we face a great team in Benfica.”

The 44-year-old, who also spoke on his future at the club and on how Bologna must be taken seriously tomorrow, considered the prospect of winning a third successive title, for the first time for the club since the 1930s.

“If history says that Juventus, beyond that five-year period [during the 1930s], has never won three Serie A titles in a row, then we would have achieved something extraordinary and incredible.

“This is my third year, we already have the same number of points as we did last year, and last year we had more points than we had in the first year, so I think that the numbers are sufficient to certify that from this point of view this would be an incredible and extraordinary season.”

Conte was asked if he experiences season run-ins differently as a Coach compared to when he was a player.

“You experience everything in a different way when you are a Coach, because the responsibilities are many and have increased dramatically, and when you are a player you experience something that is increasingly intense, in a beautiful way.

“But as a Coach you have to prepare a little of everything, you have to think a little about it all and as I always have so many responsibilities and the concerns are greater, the stress is increased, the pressure is greater, but I also say that the rewards are greater than when I was a footballer, when I win.”