Conte: We wanted to win at all costs

The 43-year-old coach said his Juventus team were ready to do everything in their power to secure victory on Sunday, and revealed he will don Milan colours on Tuesday
Juventus boss Antonio Conte says his team were prepared to "win at all costs" in order to establish a nine-point lead over Napoli in a bid to retain their Serie A crown.

The Scudetto-winning coach watched his team move nearer to securing the league title with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Catania on Sunday, courtesy of a late Emanuele Giaccherini strike, a result which opens up a significant gap between Juventus and the trailing pack.

And speaking to Sky Sport Italia, the former Siena coach claims his side were ready to do whatever was necessary to secure the three points.

"It was a game we wanted to win at all costs with great strength and heart," he said. "Catania were well-organised and made it difficult for us, especially with Alejandro Gomez and Lucas Castro so dangerous on the counter-attack.

"We are focusing only on ourselves, as this is a tough and stressful league in every aspect. Last season if we had finished third, then the club and fans would’ve been very happy.

"This year we started out as favourites and winning again is never easy. We cannot make calculations right now, so [we'll] take it one game at a time."

The 43-year-old also reflected on the performance of midfielder Paul Pogba and, despite the Frenchman garnering acclaim for his displays with the Bianconeri this season, Conte believes the former Manchester United youth still has plenty of developing to do before he is the finished article.

He added: “I wasn’t satisfied with Pogba in the first half, while he was important after the break. He needs to grow, improve, keep his head down and work with humility."

Meanwhile, Conte also revealed he would be putting loyalties aside and support the progress of Italian clubs in the Champions League with Juventus' rivals, AC Milan, set to take on Barcelona in Camp Nou next week.

The Rossoneri take a 2-0 lead to Catalunya and have a real chance of progressing to the quarter-finals, and the Italian coach hopes they can prevail on Tuesday.

Conte said: "I am cheering them on in the Champions League against Barcelona because they are an Italian club.

"They’ve revamped the squad and brought down the average age, so they are dangerous opponents in Serie A."