Juventus will not rely exclusively on Argentine striker Carlos Tevez to fire them to a third consecutive Scudetto, head coach Antonio Conte said.
Tevez has scored four goals – three in Serie A and one in the Super Cup – since transferring from Manchester City in the off-season, most recently netting the equaliser in Juventus’ 2-1 win over Hellas Verona on Sunday.
But Conte has played down Tevez’s importance at the Juventus Stadium, claiming the two-time defending Serie A champions have shown they are capable of claiming silverware without the Argentine.
“Tevez is doing a very good job but we shouldn’t forget that Juventus won the last two championships: we won one Scudetto undefeated and the other one as protagonists,” Conte said.
“At that time, Tevez wasn’t part of the team, therefore we should not take away from players who were part of the team last year because they have been determined and allowed us to win.
“Of course Tevez brought something more to the team in terms of skills.
“He is a champion and I’m very happy to have him.
“But we shouldn’t forget that in the previous two years, Juventus managed to win without Tevez.
“Tevez is part of a game which can enhance his skills and his skills can enhance our game.
“We have never depended on anyone and we never will. That is not my idea of football.”
Attacker Sebastian Giovinco, who played 31 Serie A games last season, including 23 starts, has been limited to just three substitute appearances in the senior side this season, most recently replacing Tevez on 79 minutes against Verona.
Conte, though, had only positive things to say about the 26-year-old forward, hinting a maiden start this season for the Italy international was not far off.
“Giovinco is doing a good job,” Conte said.
“When he came on, he had a good performance in the matches against Copenhagen (in the Champions League) and Verona.
“He will have his chance: it could be tomorrow, on Sunday, in the Champions League, against Milan, or even after the break.
“When I understand that Giovinco may be important from the first minute, I’ll line him up from the beginning.
“He is a strong player and I don’t usually make mistakes when I make a technical analysis. He combines qualities with speed.
“Some people don’t like him, but I like him very much, even if I’m not letting him play that much.
“He is one of our five forwards and, like the others, he will be taken into consideration when I believe it’s the right time.”
Juventus are amid a period of seven matches in 22 days, with their Serie A fixture against Chievo on Wednesday the fourth game in that run.
And Conte said injuries to Jose Martin Caceres and Claudio Marchisio have stopped him from making more changes to his starting XI.
“I usually try to plan the changes in order to give a certain balance to the team. If Caceres and Marchisio would have been available full-time, I’d have made more changes,” Conte said.
“In any case, all choices are made according to the needs of the team and to the mental and physical conditions of the players.
“It isn’t easy and you have to run risks when playing so many consecutive matches, but I’ve always received positive results from the fringe players.”