Friday November 1 2013
Conte: Roma can spur us on

Juventus boss Antonio Conte thinks Roma’s record-breaking start to the season could provide his players with extra motivation.

The Giallorossi have won their first 10 games of the campaign, meaning that Juve and Napoli are still five points behind the Olimpico outfit.

“Roma are doing some extraordinary things because to win 10 games in a row is never easy for anyone, not even the great sides of the past,” Conte stated.

“I compliment them, but this will also act to spur us on because, unlike last season when we always led, we are now chasing.”

Roma will be away at Torino during the weekend, but Conte insists he won’t be supporting his club’s city rivals.

“I’m a fan of Juventus, so I’m just looking into my own house,” he added. “We have to think of ourselves and the difficult match that we are faced at Parma in a stadium where we have drawn over the last two seasons.

“They have Antonio Cassano who is a great talent. He is chasing the national side and, seeing what he is doing right now, he could get back into the team for the World Cup. He is a danger, like Amauri, Jonathan Biabiany, Marco Parolo…”

The tactician confirmed that he is likely to rest players ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League encounter against Real Madrid, but refused to be too specific.

“I will rotate the team, but I won’t tell you how.

“Fabio Quagliarella has recovered from injury and he is training with us, so he is available. Now we are waiting for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Mirko Vucinic.

“We are starting this mini-cycle with problems, especially in attack, but everyone is responding well – including Sebastian Giovinco who has had a foot problem.”

Conte was also asked for a comment on the Giorgio Chiellini challenge which resulted in a fibula fracture for Catania’s Gonzalo Bergessio.

“Giorgio is a player who attackers would never want to face, because he is tough and is one of the best in the world.

“He is human and can makes mistakes, I won’t accept those who say he is an unfair player. Who knows him is aware of his values. The incident was an accident – go and watch the replays.”

It has been an important week for the former midfielder, seeing as he is one of 10 tacticians on the shortlist for the FIFA Coach of the Year award.

“It is certainly very satisfying for me and the club. Don’t forget that the club, the President, made an important choice in taking a Coach who had won two Serie B championships but was new to Serie A.

“To get into the elite of the top 10 Coaches in the space of just two years is a reward, certainly something to be proud of and a stimulus for me to try to improve.

“I want to praise the players because it is thanks to them that this has happened. A Coach can have 100,000 ideas, a method, mentality, but if his players don’t follow him then it is a problem.

“This nomination is not a point of arrival though, it is one of departure. I wouldn’t give the award to me today – I still have a long road ahead.”

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