Juventus head coach Antonio Conte has argued he is only interested in his own team ahead of the Serie A leaders’ clash with AC Milan.
Conte was left frustrated by claims in the media this week that Juventus were keen to knock off Milan to try and ensure Massimiliano Allegri’s side finished third in Serie A rather than overhaul Napoli and reach second position.
Milan trail second-placed Napoli by four points ahead of Sunday’s match at Juventus Stadium but Conte has rubbished theories that his team’s motivation stems from a desire to earn bragging rights.
“I read in the papers this week that we would like to make Milan finish the season in third position and that’s nonsense, because as I’ve already said in the past, you are small minded if you look at the others and if you make such comparisons,” Conte said.
“Let’s try and make comparisons with those who are better than us, let’s remain focused and think that if we win tomorrow’s match we will be very close to the Scudetto.”
Conte added he was amazed by Juventus’ 11-point gap over Napoli at this point of the Serie A season.
“If they had told me (before the season) that I would have had 11 points more than the other teams six games from the end of the season I wouldn’t have believed it,” Conte.
“Not even in my best dream I would have dreamt such a thing.”
Juventus could take a massive step towards back-to-back Serie A titles with victory over Milan, especially if Napoli fail to knock off Cagliari.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s fixture, Conte reserved special praise for 20-year-old French midfielder Paul Pogba.
“I changed the 4-4-2 originally because Arturo Vidal was so good he couldn’t be dropped,” Conte said.
“I am in a similar situation now with Paul Pogba.
“Pogba’s got excellent potential and could well go on to become one of the best players in the world.”