Conte: I missed the contact with players

The Juve boss has admitted the thing he missed most during his four-month absence was not being able to communicate with his team during games and says fans are essential to him

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has said not being able to speak to his players whilst the match was ongoing was the hardest part of the ban.

The Italian returned last week after a four-month suspension for failing to report match fixing and he said the worst aspect of the enforced absence was not being able to communicate with his team during matches.

“The thing I missed most about these four months was the physical contact with the players in the 90 minutes of play,” Conte told reporters.

“It was great when I returned, everyone came and hugged me, it was an extraordinary feeling. I need the physical contact with the players.”

The 43-year-old was criticised for not mentioning the fans in the recent away game at Palermo, but Conte revealed why he failed to address them.

He added: “At Palermo, I didn’t say thanks to the supporters because I wanted to thank them in our home game. Together, with my family, my friends, the club and the players, they are important and are essential to me.”

The Bianconeri host Cagliari on Wednesday in the last 16 of the Coppa Italia.