Juventus boss Antonio Conte has hailed Sebastian Giovinco after his side battled to a late 1-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais in the Europa League.
The 27-year-old forward came off the bench after 62 minutes and produced a lively cameo as the Iitalian champions snatched a late winner through Leonardo Bonucci.
“There aren’t enough people who praise Giovinco, who in my view has incredible quality,” Conte told reporters after the match.
“He needs to believe in himself even more and realise he can make the difference at a big club like Juventus the same way he did at Parma.
“Those who came off the bench did very well and I am very happy.
“We came to Lyon not to defend ourselves, but to attack and get the win that would make the second leg a little more comfortable for us. We had a good mentality.”
Bonucci’s 84th-minute winner means Juventus will now expect to move a step closer to the Europa League final, which is being played in their home stadium.
Conte says he was impressed with the way his team responded after their recent Serie A defeat to Napoli on a night during which their French opponents made expressive play difficult by defending in numbers.
“We have moved on well after the Napoli game,” he said. “We are Juventus and the players know what it means to wear this shirt.
“It was a tough match; Lyon were above all trying to stop us from playing, with man-marking all over the field.
“Inevitably, they lost some intensity in the second half, while we also moved better and created several chances. In our recent matches, we have been playing better after half-time.
“This was a deserved result but we still haven’t achieved anything – there is a second leg still to play before we can even consider the semi-finals.”
Carlos Tevez had to be replaced after 56 minutes, with Mirko Vucinic coming on in his place, but Conte did not seem seriously concerned about the Argentine.
The Bianconeri boss said: “Carlos had already felt a little pain in his thigh during the last game he played against Parma.
“We agreed the moment he felt pain in that area again he should come off. We did not want to take any stupid risks with him.”