Saturday September 28 2013
Conte: 'Juve respect Torino'

Antonio Conte has “great respect” for Torino and warns in the Derby della Mole “hunger” counts for more than quality.

The two city giants face off on Sunday at 11.30am UK time (10.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“We have great respect for Torino, as they are an excellent squad with very good players,” said Conte in his Press conference.

“Plus we are talking about a derby, which is always a game unto itself. I will never forget the derby when we won the Scudetto and still lost both Derbies. It is a fixture where technique and quality are not enough, as you need grit, sporting aggression and rage. In certain games the hunger counts more than organisation.”

Giampiero Ventura scrapped his trademark 4-2-4 system this season for a 3-5-2 with Alessio Cerci moved from the wing to a striker role.

“I always respected Torino and appreciated their tactics. If Ventura has decided to change, he will have his reasons. Toro remain well organised and have excellent individuals like Cerci and Ciro Immobile. I am certain they’ll face us in an open and attacking way.

“The Derby is a unique event. Nothing counts here, not your wages nor the position in the table. There is a lot of respect between us, as Turin has two glorious clubs. I have many friends who are Toro supporters.”

Juventus have been stuttering of late, needing to fight back to gain results against Copenhagen, Inter, Hellas Verona and Chievo.

“We always try to improve, but the statistics of the last few games do not show a disastrous Juventus,” continued Conte.

“We picked up four wins and two draws, which doesn’t seem bad to me. We know that we have to improve certain aspects, but let’s wait before talking about a Juve that is struggling. We know it’ll be more difficult this season, because teams change their approach and play only to limit us.

“Winning two consecutive titles in such clear fashion did bring a sense of certainty to the squad. It’s inevitable after two years of success that the approach will be less ferocious. However, I am not worried because I know that my team has great men as well as great players. Everyone is waiting for us to slip up and play the game of their lives against Juve.”

There are reports Andrea Pirlo will be rested, but Conte joked when asked who would partner Carlos Tevez in attack.

“Why, are you certain Tevez is playing? There’s one more training session and then three important games coming up. We’ve rotated so far and will try to finish this fixture-intensive period as best we can. I focus on the team, not on any particular individual.

“As for Pirlo, we are making evaluations. I won’t say yes or no right now, but I will remind you we have other important games coming up on the horizon. I want to keep everyone in the best condition possible.

“Mirko Vucinic had a problem with his heel that was caused by the knock to the knee on international duty, but he’s better now and at our disposal.”

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