Saturday January 18 2014
Conte: 'Pogba can do better!'

Antonio Conte praised Sampdoria for coming to attack Juventus, but was very critical of Paul Pogba’s performance.

The Bianconeri improved their club record with a 12th consecutive Serie A victory, but the Blucerchiati made them work for the 4-2 result.

“I think we did well to prepare this game the right way, otherwise it would’ve been really tough to beat this Sampdoria tonight,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s a shame, as we have to work on the fact most of their chances – and those scored by Cagliari last week – came from corners. We cannot dominate games and always have this anxiety from set plays.

“This problem has only really emerged recently with Cagliari and Samp. The Blucerchiati caused us a great deal of trouble from corners tonight and they deserve compliments for that.

“We created numerous scoring opportunities, got four goals again to show we are a team who like to play, to attack and that means leaving some spaces at the back.”

Conte was shown footage of his absolutely furious reaction on the touchline when Arturo Vidal lost the ball with some fancy footwork in midfield.

“I try to keep the utmost concentration in my players to the 90th minute and tonight we saw it was hard to kill the game off. In my view, that’s what has made the difference over the last two and a half years. We did well to hold Samp off and break away when we had the chance.”

Pogba scored a sensational strike this evening, his sixth of the Serie A season, but Conte was far from happy with his 20-year-old starlet.

“Tonight Pogba could’ve done a lot better. I’m not joking! I’ve certainly seen better performances from Paul. At times the goal fogs the vision of the whole game, but I get angry as people forget everything around it.”

The Bianconeri have struggled more in the last two rounds, but Conte believes that’s better for them and the fans.

“Sampdoria had seven men up for set plays and that made us nervous. As for the rest of the game, we did well to cause them a lot of problems too with our style of football.

“I am happy that we are facing teams who play the game rather than those who come here and sit with 10 men behind the ball. I hope this tendency will grow, as when two teams play to beat each other there’s more spectacle. It’s also inevitable that lowers our possession statistics, but I prefer that and I’m sure the people in the stadium do too. This match was well worth the price of the ticket.

“I compliment Sinisa Mihajlovic, but I knew we’d be in real trouble if we didn’t prepare for this game in the best way possible.”

Conte also hit back at Rafa Benitez after the Napoli Coach accused him of only saying the title race wasn’t over in order to give papers something to write.

“I have lost titles when eight points clear with seven rounds to go and I’ve also won them with comebacks, so I know it’s never over until it’s over. It’s better to be cautious rather than be left with egg on your face!”

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