NEWS
Saturday October 11 2014
Conte slams media response

Antonio Conte praised Sebastian Giovinco, but was irritated by the media’s surprise after Italy’s 2-1 win over Azerbaijan.

“These are games where you face a team that played with almost 10 men man-marking. They took on Bulgaria with a different attitude, which I suppose means they respect us.

“We have six points after two games, that is positive, so let’s continue,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

The Azzurri travel to Malta for Monday night’s Euro 2016 qualifier and are currently joint top of the group with Croatia, who also have a 100 per cent record.

Conte was annoyed after a question from a reporter who was practically amazed that the fans in Palermo’s Stadio Barbera continued cheering the Italy side after such a slim victory.

The journalist suggested it was already a result for the Coach that the crowd was treating this like a win over a bigger opponent like Germany or Holland rather than minnows Azerbaijan.

“I think the culture behind this question is wrong. People should applaud their team and the performance, not the result or who they are playing against.

“I think the people of Palermo appreciated the effort, the style and the emotions we were putting across. That can lead to a huge win or a slender one, it should be the same.

“I have complained about my teams on occasion when we won. Today I complain that we need this as an experience not to leave games in the balance.”

Giovinco came off the bench and made a big difference, so Conte explained why he counts on the Atomic Ant despite struggles to feature for Juventus.

“He is one of the few in Italy who can get past his man and change the balance of a match after coming off the bench. In a one-on-one situation he’s great, can get past players, send someone clear or go for goal himself.

“I do not gift spots to anyone. Giovinco is here because he can be useful to the Italy cause, just as he was for Juventus.”