Saturday January 19 2013
Conte: 'We had situation in hand'

Antonio Conte praised his second string Juventus side after a 4-0 demolition job on Udinese. “We always had the situation in hand.”

Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Giorgio Chiellini, Fabio Quagliarella, Simone Pepe and Nicklas Bendtner missed out, but Paul Pogba scored a fantastic brace.

“Even if we were playing with many ‘reserve’ players, very few people noticed thanks to the fine performances of those who stepped in,” said the Coach.

“The lads are working seriously despite the many absentees. We have a concept of a team and are not a group of individuals. We gave away five points in the last two games, but it went well tonight and we always had the situation in hand.”

Conte was asked whether Pogba reminded him of a young Frank Rijkaard.

“They do have similar characteristics, but Paul needs to grow up to become one of the best players in the world in his role.”

Napoli closed the gap on leaders Juventus after their two-point penalty in the betting scandal was quashed on appeal along with six-month bans for Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava.

“It was the right thing to do, but perhaps it would’ve been right not to suspend me too.”

Conte sat out a four-month ban for failing to report a potential fix to the authorities, charges he always denied.