Wednesday February 26 2014
Conte: 'Take game to Trabzonspor'

Antonio Conte assures Juventus are “prepared” for the Trabzonspor atmosphere and “are not coming to defend a 2-0 lead.”

The second leg of this Europa League Round of 32 kicks off in Turkey at 20.05 GMT on Thursday, following on from the 2-0 result in Turin.

“We will try to take the initiative,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“We are facing a team that above all in attack has great quality. In any case, we are not coming to Turkey in order to defend a 2-0 lead, because scoring a goal here would practically secure our qualification for the next round.

“The 2-0 from the first leg is certainly an excellent result, as it’s very important to win at home without conceding. This can be to our advantage.

“However, we are facing a side pushed forward by 25,000 fans. There is going to be a fiery atmosphere, but we are prepared and have the utmost respect for this team. It’s not the first time we have faced a game like this.”

Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League with a surprise 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray in December, so will be hoping not to suffer another Turkish elimination.

Daniel Osvaldo scored in the first leg and is likely to start again tomorrow, as Conte rotates his squad ahead of Sunday’s Serie A clash with Milan.

“We are facing the Europa League with a great deal of enthusiasm and I include the whole squad. You saw how many games await us in the next few weeks.

“In the first leg the players who haven’t had as much room did well, but tomorrow I expect them to do even better. If we do well, then we will continue in the competition, but I do admit I have to rotate the squad, otherwise we run huge risks.

“These games are also valuable, as they give the players more European experience. Some people forget our European adventure only began last season. It’ll be tougher than in Italy, so we require a lot of patience and hard work.”

Following the controversy over the Turin Derby, Conte was also asked about referees.

“Last year after the Genoa game I really didn’t like myself and the way I behaved. I apologised and since then have changed my attitude. Italian referees are the best in the world and we must respect what they do. I am telling you this as someone who made a huge mistake and changed his ways.”

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