Juventus coach Antonio Conte has explained that the club's desire to reclaim the Scudetto has only intensified in recent years by having to watch their rivals pick up silverware while they floundered.
The Bianconeri maintained their three-point advantage at the summit of Serie A standings with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Cesena on Wednesday evening and the former Italy international explained that his players are driven by the prospect of claiming their first legitimate title since 2003.
“We’re in front of a laid table, and after having attended other sides’ banquets, our hunger has grown," Conte is quoted as saying by his club's official website after the game at the Dino Manuzzi.
"Today [Wednesday] we’ve shown our maturity: a tough game and a desired victory, against a team which battled until the final whistle.
"We gave our all. Inevitably, when our opponents are closed in, we struggle a little more."
Andrea Pirlo missed an early spot-kick against Cesena but Marco Borriello spared the midfielder's blushes by coming off the bench to net a late winner for the visitors.
“The missed penalty didn't affect the game, because the match had just started," Conte mused. "Certainly, if we had scored on that occasion, Cesena would have opened more, exactly like they did when we went in front."
The former Bianconeri midfielder admitted that he was delighted by the fact that Borriello had popped up with the game's only goal given he had yet to score since joining on loan from Roma during the January transfer window.
"I’m happy for Borriello," Conte enthused. "When he arrived in Turin he wasn’t in shape, and he had to work hard.
"Now he’s fine, I spoke with him about it and now that he’s achieved his teammates’ form. He’s been decisive in today’s clash. He deserves all our praise."
Up next for undefeated Juventus is a trip to the Silvio Piola to take on Novara.