Saturday May 5 2012
Conte: 'Historic Juve moment'

Juventus may have fumbled their lead at the top of the table, but Antonio Conte insists the parallels with May 5 2002 are more inspiring than frightening.

The Bianconeri were four points clear of Milan, but the gap was cut to just one after a surprise midweek 1-1 draw with 10-man Lecce.

Precisely a decade after Inter dropped a seemingly secure Scudetto on the last day to hand it to Conte’s Juve, can the same be happening in reverse?

“We are back to experiencing these high profile games and I think that is the most positive aspect of all,” assured the Coach ahead of Sunday night’s game with Cagliari.

“All of this is thanks to the work done by the club, the staff and the players. We should be full of pride to be challenging for the Scudetto with two rounds to go and that must motivate us even more.

“Fortunately, I have experience of going through completely opposing experiences. I’ve been trailing at the last 90 minutes and on another occasion out in front.

“Football always brings new sensations and what counts is the present. We want to achieve something super-extraordinary. I always say to win you need head, heart and legs, in that order.”

The mind may well be crucial, as Juve risk losing confidence after Gigi Buffon’s howler gifted Lecce a late equaliser.

“At this stage we have such a strong unity within the team that we only need a glance to understand each other,” continued Conte.

“It is important for me to understand how everyone is feeling and I don’t see why anything should change tomorrow. After the Lecce game, everyone wanted to get straight back on to the pitch and play again.

“That was a heavy blow, but it only fuels our desire to make up for it and cancel out what happened on Wednesday night. The lads are ready and have belief, they know this is an historic moment.

“We can put ourselves in the Juventus history books and I doubt I need to do anything to motivate my men. If anything, I might have to hold them back.”

Paolo De Ceglie is out with a muscular injury, but Conte refused to confirm who would replace him. Simone Pepe has now recovered.

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