Antonio Conte wants Juventus to challenge for silverware on every front this season.
The coach’s plea came after Juve reached the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Cagliari.
Sebastian Giovinco’s strike was enough to settle the tie in Turin, and the 43-year-old, returning to the home dugout for the first time since completing his suspension, was delighted that his much-changed side was able to keep another trophy quest alive.
“I’m pleased we went through tonight because we want to be challenging on all fronts,” he was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
“We were up against a decent Cagliari side and they were well set out on the pitch. Now we’ll wait to see whether we face AC Milan or Reggina in the next round.
“Today the lads who have been playing less gave me the response I was after. I’m sorry for (Emanuele) Giaccherini – he was forced to withdraw because of some sort of flu bug, so I had to field Arturo (Vidal), who had a knee problem.
“And I was especially sorry for (Nicklas) Bendtner, I would have liked to see him have a longer run-out.”
Conte received a rapturous reception from the Juventus Stadium faithful, and the former midfielder admitted he was moved by the fans’ response.
“It was really touching, it’s always nice to know you’re appreciated,” he added.
Luca Marrone echoed the crowd’s sentiments towards the coach, and added that his boss wasted no time in making his own feelings about the first-half performance known at half-time.
“You could sense the crowd’s affection for him from out there on the pitch,” he told reporters.
“We’re delighted to have him back with us because he’s such an important presence. He made his presence felt during the break today too!
“We put in a good performance and we’re glad to have made it through to the next round because we want to go all the way.
“It’s important for us to stay in all the competitions so that those who are featuring less get more opportunities to play.”
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