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Conte calls for Juve to focus

Juventus coach Antonio Conte wants to avoid complacency ahead of their Champions League round-of-16 second leg against Celtic on Wednesday.

Serie A champions Juve lead 3-0 from the first leg at Celtic Park after a clinical performance in Glasgow, but Conte has said he does not believe the tie is over, despite the Italian club’s sizeable aggregate lead.

“Qualification is obtained over 180 minutes, and so far we’ve only played 90. There is another 90 to go against a strong, proud team who will want to make amends for first leg,” Conte told reporters.

“The first leg has given us a seriously good chance of reaching the next round, but in football, there are always surprises.”

Conte reiterated his belief that the Scottish club can still cause a problem for the Serie A leaders despite being behind in the tie, and praised the work being done by his opposite number Neil Lennon.

“Celtic are a side capable of creating plenty of danger, we need to be fully focused,” he said.

“It’s an important test. They are a great team and Lennon is doing a superb job.”

Conte was also full of praise for his own players after their victory in Glasgow, and hopes that winning so handsomely in a hostile stadium will stand them in good stead for the future.

“Not succumbing to the pressure of Celtic Park was an excellent test of the team’s maturity and gives me great confidence,” he said.

“It’s not easy to play in hostile environments.

“Everybody at Juventus should be proud of what we’re doing. We need to keep it going.”

Tue 5 March, 2013
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