Antonio Conte: Andrea Pirlo is a very important player for Juventus

The former Siena man has spoken about the man who joined the club on a free transfer in the summer from Milan, with the midfielder set to miss Sunday's Serie A fixture
Juventus coach Antonio Conte has spoken of Andrea Pirlo's importance to the club since his summer arrival, as suspension rules him out of Sunday's game against Cesena.

The Turin giants could return to the top of the table if they win at home this weekend but the absence of Pirlo could be a big blow for Juventus.

Juventus also have Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Pepe, Arturo Vidal and Leonardo Bonucci a booking away from suspension, but Conte maintains he is not worried about this.

"Pirlo is a very important player and man for this club, but whoever plays tomorrow will have my utmost faith," the former Siena coach told reporters in his press conference.

"It's true Pirlo is an example, but the team will play at 120 per cent to ensure he is not missed. As for the others on a yellow card, that doesn't interest me. Cesena are worth as many points as any other, so we must win."

Conte was also keen to play down his team's impressive start to the season, stating that their aim was to show that the side were competitive again.

"Juventus were coming off two consecutive seventh-place finishes so it wasn't right to put us among the Scudetto favourites," Conte added.

"My first objective was to make Juventus competitive again, therefore to have credibility in the eyes of fans and opponents. That objective has been achieved. Now the second step is to confirm our competitive nature in the long run."

"If we can hit that target too, then we can start to think about other ambitions."

Juventus are the only unbeaten side in Serie A this season after winning seven and drawing five of their opening 12 league fixtures.