Wednesday October 2 2013
Conte: 'Juve face uphill struggle'

Antonio Conte realises Juventus face “an uphill struggle” in the Champions League after a 2-2 draw with Galatasaray.

Leonardo Bonucci’s error gave away the opener, then Juve had fought back to lead 2-1 only for another defensive howler 60 seconds later.

“It was certainly disappointing, as we had managed to put the game back on track after an incident, which can happen. It’s a shame, as if you score at the 87th minute and then concede straight from the kick-off it is unusual.

“We have to be more attentive and clear-headed. The lads had tried so hard to get back into the match and I believe we achieved that in a deserved fashion.”

The Bianconeri also shared the spoils in Copenhagen, so have just two points to Real Madrid’s six, with the Turkish and Danish sides on one each.

“Now it’s an uphill struggle, but we must not get downhearted. We’ve got to fight with the dagger between our teeth. If we do well then we will go forward, if we don’t then it’ll mean the others were better and we tip our hats to them.”

Conte was shown the footage of the second goal and asked whether Mauricio Isla was at fault for his mistaken movement.

“I prefer to discuss tactical issues directly with the players and not on television. When we analyse the game, looking at positive and less positive things, we identify the errors.”

Juventus are becoming perhaps a little predictable and the negative approach of their opponents is having an effect.

“We can change something to surprise our opponents during the game, but these are our tactics. In the squad we only have Simone Pepe who can allow us to play 4-3-3. Based on the players at my disposal, I try to put them in the best condition to play.

“I don’t think I could use Stephan Lichtsteiner or Isla upfront in a 4-3-3. Unfortunately Pepe had this injury and we don’t have the right type of wingers in the squad.

“There are five strikers in the squad and they all play, so they all feel important. Whatever happens, people will complain about who I am leaving out, but I can’t use them all simultaneously.”

There was more bad news during the game tonight, as both Mirko Vucinic and Lichtsteiner limped off.

“Vucinic and Lichtsteiner have muscular problems, but we must wait for tomorrow to see the extent of the injuries. We hope they’re not too serious.”