Juventus' Conte worried by long break

Updated: 19 November 2011 20:52 IST

Juventus coach Antonio Conte is worried that his team's long break since their last match will have affected their fluidity when they entertain Palermo on Sunday.

Juventus' Conte worried by long break

Rome:

Juventus coach Antonio Conte is worried that his team's long break since their last match will have affected their fluidity when they entertain Palermo on Sunday.

Juve's last league match against Napoli was postponed due to flooding and with the international break it means they have not played for three weeks.

So Conte is resorting to drastic concepts to fire up his team.

"For us the clash with Palermo has to be a World Cup final, we're thinking only of that without making calculations or resting players," said Conte.

"From Monday we'll start thinking about Lazio and then Napoli.

"Three weeks without playing is a lot and I see some perplexity surrounding us and how we'll represent ourselves on the field but that's inevitable.

"We don't have any excuses, after the international matches from Thursday we retuned ourselves to the league.

"We were ready before the international break and we will be (on Sunday)."

Conte believes his side, the only one to remain unbeaten in the league, can handle any situation they come across.

"I have a group of lads who've shown me a lot of availability, there's great desire to do something important," he said.

"They're all ready so the decisions I make will be technical ones and not based on (physical) conditions.

"Right now the standings don't matter, what counts is working hard and giving everything."

While Juve may be amongst the front runners in the league, things off the pitch have not been so smooth for the Old Lady of Turin.

In midweek Juve came under fire from Italian Olympic Committee president Gianni Petrucci for trying to exploit legal loopholes to have their 2005 and 2006 titles, of which they were stripped for match-fixing, restored.

Juve have made a number of appeals to different bodies, both sporting and civil, but have so far always been rejected.

But Conte doesn't think such issues will affect his players.

"I have always liked looking at the verdict the pitch gives, that's the true one," said Conte.

"We have to keep grouping our strength on the pitch to continue doing what we're doing to build something strong which will last into the future."

Turning back to his players, Conte sprung to the defence of Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal who came under fire in his homeland for turning up late for international duty.

"I've spoken with Vidal, I was surprised about what happened. Here in Turin his behaviour has always been exemplary.

"I've never had anything to say about his conduct. For me he's a great lad but he was wrong to turn up late for the get-together in Chile.

"The rules have to be respected in Chile as they are here. He showed maturity in apologising and maybe in the future he'll turn up early, he needs to learn from his mistakes."

Topics : Football Juventus Stadium AC Milan Catania Chelsea Lazio Napoli Genoa Atalanta Fiorentina Chievo Juventus
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