Sunday February 9 2014
Conte: 'Inexplicable collapse'

Antonio Conte blasted “inexplicable” Juventus after they fumbled a 2-0 lead in Verona. “It’s a cold shower of humility.”

Carlos Tevez had put them in a comfortable position, but Luca Toni and a Juanito Gomez Taleb goal in stoppages sealed the 2-2 result.

“It’s inexplicable,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia. “The game lasts 90 minutes, not 45. It’s not acceptable to be punished by two set plays on two distractions. It wipes out all the good work we did until then.

“We could’ve done a lot, lot better. It leaves me perplexed how we could dominate the game for the first half and then end up like this. We had a similar problem against Inter, as one goal and we panic.

“We concede far too many goals from dead ball situations and we’ve got to be focused, as there’s little I can do in tactical terms or studying opponents. It’s a question of concentration.

“It’s a shame we drew this game against a Verona side that created few opportunities. I have to compliment them for their determination.”

Daniel Osvaldo made his debut and almost scored, hitting the woodwork 90 seconds after coming off the bench.

“Everyone has to remember they have to earn their place. Don’t forget we’ve got Claudio Marchisio on the bench in good shape and Osvaldo ready to play in attack. I’ll evaluate everything and make my choices.

“Motivation must always be at the maximum, otherwise we end up like we did today. It’s a real shame to lose these two points.”

Conte was told an intriguing statistic, which is that Juventus have not kept a clean sheet this season when one of the first choice back three were missing.

“We also conceded goals with the three supposed first choices. It is not justification, as here we saw some serious distractions. It’s not good enough.

“This draw has to be a cold shower of humility and in that sense can be useful for the future. There are no first choices, no benchwarmers. It’s a revolving door policy for this team and it’s good for the players to put me under pressure in my decisions.”

The gap at the top of the table remains untouched, as Roma were also held to a 0-0 draw by Lazio.

“Regardless of what the others did, this is a wasted opportunity,” concluded Conte.

“Only we could’ve let Verona back into the game. Let’s learn from this and be aware the Scudetto isn’t won yet. In previous years we won it with determination, aggression and strength. It won’t be easy to repeat that.”

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