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International break much needed, says Conte

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has questioned his team’s focus after they again came from behind to win 3-2 against Milan.

Sulley Muntari put Milan ahead in just the first minute of Sunday’s match at Juventus Stadium, making it six from seven games where Conte’s team had conceded the first goal.

Andrea Pirlo, Sebastian Giovinco and Giorgio Chiellini scored for Juventus as they recovered to claim victory, continuing their trend of picking up points despite going behind, but Conte remained unimpressed.

“We managed to win despite the goal we conceded after the first 20 seconds,” Conte said.

“I guess we set a record today, although not a good one.

“The trend that we concede from the opposition’s first shot on goal continued tonight.

“I hope that the international break will bring a bit more luck which could allow us not to concede a goal from the opponent’s first shot on target.”

The victory saw Juventus stay in touch with Serie A leaders Roma, who have won all seven league games this season, with the reigning champions in third, two points behind the capital club.

Conte believes his players are making more ‘individual mistakes’ than last season and the 44-year-old coach revealed his relief at the upcoming international break, as he will use that time to try and fix the defensive problems with his team.

“What encourages and discourages me at the same time is that, compared to last year, this year we conceded goals due to individual mistakes and not to collective mistakes,” Conte said.

“This is reassuring because it means that we can improve if we remove individual mistakes.

“The problem is that there have been many individual mistakes and therefore we have to ask to increase the level of attention to players who won two championships.

“This is surely the most important thing we have to do. I believe this is the path that we have to follow.

“Last year we also started with some problems and, as I’ve already said, we won matches we didn’t deserve to win. I believe that this year we won matches and deserved all victories.

“This year the problem is that it seems that we have to concede a goal before starting to give our best. Now there will be the break and we’ll try to use this period in order to change this trend.”

Mon 7 October, 2013
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