Antonio Conte praised the ‘great response’ from his side after Juventus fought back to beat AC Milan 2-1 in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.
Mirko Vucinic struck the winner in extra time after Sebastian Giovinco had levelled the match following Stephan El Shaarawy’s early opener, and Conte was delighted that his charges were able to learn from their mistakes in their recent defeat to Sampdoria.
“It is always a tough game between these two great teams and clubs who have won so much,” he told RAI after the match.
“Our hunger was huge and I received a great response from everyone, especially as I included many players who hadn’t featured for a while.
“I told them that what happened against Sampdoria must never happen again.”
Conte said there was plenty to look forward to for the Juve squad.
“This victory proves once more how extraordinary this group of players are. We won the scudetto last season, after a poor start which saw us in seventh place and we’re trying to repeat that title this season,” Conte said.
“We know we still need to grow and improve, there’s still a long way to go, but we want to build something important. Victories are obviously good for our confidence and growth.”
The 43-year-old reserved special praise for Marco Storari, who made a handful of impressive saves on the night as he deputised for Gianluigi Buffon.
“I compliment Marco Storari, as he played a great game in goal and I am very proud of him,” he praised.
“Mirko Vucinic scored a goal in extra time, but lets’ not forget that if Sebastian Giovinco hadn’t scored the equaliser we wouldn’t have played the extra time.
“Goals are always the result of decisive play from the whole team and it’s the whole team that expressed themselves in the best way.
“We put in too much effort tonight though and now we have to try and recover our fitness and prepare for the difficult match we have ahead against Parma.
Man of the moment, Vucinic, was understandably elated after firing his team into the next round and hailed the efforts of the whole squad on the back of a disappointing weekend.
“All of us, all 13 or 14 players fought to win the game,” the striker said.
“This team is different because everyone plays for each other and fights for the team. We didn’t play as well as we could against Sampdoria, but we are fully focused on achieving all of our objectives.”