Sunday October 6 2013
Conte: 'Juve needed a slap'

Antonio Conte was happy for Sebastian Giovinco, even if Juventus “needed a slap to wake us up” against Milan.

The Bianconeri had gone behind after 19 seconds in Turin, but fought back for a 3-2 victory, so have dropped points in only one game this season.

“When the fixture list was drawn up, everyone said we’d have a really tough start. I’d have been more than happy with six wins and a draw by this stage,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“It was a good performance tonight, but we have to improve. At the moment we concede with the first shot on target, so that’s bad luck but also our own mistakes. We have been living with this situation for a while; it’s almost as if we need a slap to wake us up...

“Today was crazy, as I almost didn’t notice Milan had scored after 20 seconds. We did well to get back on our feet against a strong Milan.”

Giovinco came off the bench and scored within two minutes, proving to be an inspired substitution.

“I thought I’d made an inspired substitution against Galatasaray on Wednesday, but then we conceded the equaliser and everyone said I’d made terrible decisions,” he smiled.

“It is all based on the result, whereas the evaluation of a team must go beyond that. I am glad that after so many times people asked about this, Giovinco finally scored a decisive goal. I am happy for Seba, as he gets too much criticism from the Juve fans. It’s not fair, as he is as good as the other strikers and needs support. I hope the rapport with the supporters can improve because of this goal.”

Conte lambasted critics in Saturday’s Press conference and maintained that approach after this victory.

“I am not surprised, as we’ve won for the last two years and this season will be very difficult. History proves that, as the only Juventus side to win three in a row was from 1930-35.

“We all have to understand this – the players, staff, club and fans. We need to be very united and realise the critics will always try to destabilise us and cause problems.”

When asked if this ‘us against the world’ attitude was reminiscent of Jose Mourinho, Conte seemed affronted.

“I said certain things even before Mourinho arrived in Italy. At Siena I was angry with everyone, because we were in second place and still they complained. I am not inspired by anyone, as I simply say what I feel. I’ve been fortunate enough to play at Juventus for 13 years, so I know it’s tough.

“Now there’s the break for international duty, followed by another very hard run against Fiorentina and Real Madrid.”