Juventus coach Antonio Conte says his side can be “insurmountable” after Lyon boss Remi Garde compared them to a mountain.
The sides are set to meet in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final in France on Thursday, with Juve having edged past compatriots Fiorentina in the last round.
The Turin outfit currently sit 11 points clear at the top of Serie A, prompting Garde to remark: “We have a mountain before us and should try to climb it by all means.”
And, when Conte followed Garde in facing the press on Wednesday, he set his players the challenge of being impossible to conquer over two legs, declaring: “Juventus are a mountain to climb? We’ll look to make it insurmountable.”
Juve will need to bounce back from their weekend defeat against Napoli if they are to gain an early advantage in the tie, but Conte is confident his players will show a positive reaction.
“I hope the defeat to Napoli gives us the strength to face the final sprint in the best way,” he said. “I’m expecting a great display tomorrow.
“Lyon have had success in recent times and possess fine players. We’ve studied them and are aware of their strong and weak areas.
“We’ll face Lyon aware of the importance the first leg holds in the eventual destiny of getting through to the next round.
“We should be proud at being respected by teams like Lyon who, up until a few years ago, were ahead of us.”
Conte also stressed his pride at being the only Italian team remaining in European competition.
“We need to be proud of the fact that we’re the only Italian team left in Europe for the second year running,” he added.
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