NEWS
Monday October 5 2015
‘Serie A at a good level’

Italy CT Antonio Conte believes Serie A is ‘at a very good level’ but doesn’t foresee a surprise winner.

A topsy-turvy start to the season has seen Fiorentina top the standings for the first time since 1999,  with Milan, Juventus, Roma and Napoli all lacking in consistency.

“The League is proving to be at a very good level,” Conte told assembled media during a Press conference at Coverciano.

“I think that in the end the fight to win it will be between the usual teams, though Fiorentina can cause problems.

“The fact that Fiorentina are in the lead shows that with organisation and hard work you can achieve very good things.

“Fiorentina are playing great football and have been the real surprise of the season.

“At the beginning there wasn’t a lot of faith in the squad, but instead they’ve shown that hard-work and and organisation eventually pay off, I hope they can continue like this.

“I had [Coach] Paulo [Sousa] as a teammate [at Juventus] and as a player he already had very clear tactical ideas.

“It was difficult to see Fiorentina in the lead, because there was a lot of unrest in Florence and the team had a new Coach. It’s a great credit to the players, the club and the Coach.

“Don’t forget Torino or Sassuolo either. I repeat, I think in the long-term the quality of the big clubs will shine through, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the surprise packages were fighting up there until the end.

“This year the League has started with a bang, we’ve been following all the eligible players [for Italy], some have done well, others less so.

“Is there more intensity in Serie A? You know how much I love the term ‘intensity’, both in possession and without the ball.

“I always try to transmit that.”

One of the names in Conte’s latest squad is Lorenzo Insigne who has five goals and three assists in his opening seven Serie A games.

“He’s doing very well with Napoli. Fortunately he wasn’t injured [after going off] against Juventus. He’s doing remarkable things from the flank, and I hope he can do well for the national team.

“Anyone can be a starter, in the coming days we’ll analyse the form and condition of everyone and then put out the best possible team.”

Finally, the former Juventus Coach gave his support to Bianconeri full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner who has had heart surgery.

“I was very sad [for him], but knowing him he’ll come back stronger then ever,” Conte predicted.

“He will get over this.”

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