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Conte hits back at criticism

Antonio Conte feels the criticism after Juventus’ defeat against Sampdoria and draw against Parma earlier this month was harsh.

Juve initially struggled to find their best form after the winter break, but Conte has pointed out that they are still in a great position to win silverware this term.

“I’ve heard a little too much criticism this week. Certain people have spoken about a team in crisis because we weren’t able to beat Sampdoria and Parma despite two good performances,” Conte said at a press conference.

“I’m perfectly relaxed and focus solely on what we’ve achieved. We’re top of the table, we’re in the Coppa Italia semi-finals for the second year in a row and have made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League.”

The 43-year-old then went on to discuss his side’s Coppa Italia tie against Lazio, and stressed that the Stadio Olimpico side will not be pushovers.

He said: “We’ll face a strong Lazio side. They’re compact, well-organised and will look to close down space before breaking on the counter-attack.

“However, we’ll be playing with the same objective as ever: to win. I’m perfectly relaxed about this because the lads know exactly what is required of them.”

The first leg of the semi-final clash is on Tuesday.

Tue 22 Jan, 2013
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