Antonio Conte: Juventus are ‘feared by their opponents again’

Juventus manager Antonio Conte believes his side's big improvement this season has earned the respect of their opponents

Antonio Conte believes Juventus’ resurgence this season means the Turin side are “feared” by their opponents once again.

Juventus were relegated to Italy’s second tier for their involvement in the Serie A match-fixing scandal in 2006, and despite making an immediate return to the top flight, have struggled to compete for silverware.

Conte has helped mastermind a title challenge in his first season in charge, with the Old Lady still unbeaten and in second place, just three points behind leaders AC Milan.

And despite last Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Chievo, the 42-year-old believes his side have plenty of reasons to be positive.

“Why should my players feel depressed given the extraordinary season we’ve been having? They should feel quite the opposite,” said Conte.

“Let’s not look at what the others are doing, and stay focused on ourselves. Let’s think about giving all we can, starting with myself, and then see at the end of the season what all of this will bring about.

“Up until now, all of the effort we have put in has made us competitive once more. It has made Juventus respected on every pitch that we play on, and feared by our opponents once again.

“Now our opponents have to give their absolute all if they want to beat us.

“So I don’t see any reason why we should feel depressed, in fact, quite the opposite. We should be very proud of what we have been doing, and we need to continue like this for the rest of the season.”

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