Pogba can become a great, says Conte

The Bianconeri boss has hailed both the Frenchman's work ethic and ability, saying that coming to Turin has helped the youngster realise his full potential
Juventus coach Antonio Conte believes that Paul Pogba has both the requisite mentality and talent to become "a great player".

The France midfielder saluted the former Siena boss' influence on his career after helping his country secure World Cup qualification during the week, but Conte believes the 20-year-old's rise is all down to his own hard work.

"First of all, Paul needs to thank himself for deciding to follow a path that has brought him to Juventus," the Bianconeri boss told reporters.

"He joined a team with role models to learn from and we as a club always try to support him as much as we can. He’s got the qualities required to become a great player, and the desire to do so is fundamental.

"When I was younger I saw plenty of players potentially better than me end up playing amateur football - while I managed to stay here for 13 years.

"The right mentality is required along with talent. Paul’s got both."

Juventus travel to Livorno on Sunday and Conte warned his players that they should not expect an easy contest.

"We’ll go there for the win, but we know it won’t be easy," he warned. "We’re up against a side playing with plenty of enthusiasm, managed by a young, bright coach who has done a great job so far - hats off to him.

"We know we’ll run into difficulties; any team who faces us plays the game of their lives."

Conte also confirmed that Andrea Barzagli would miss the clash with an injury picked up on international duty that leaves the defender's participation in the midweek Champions League clash with Copenhagen in doubt.

"Injury-wise, Barzagli won’t be available [on Sunday] and I think Copenhagen might also come too soon for him as well. Injured players need time to train in order to make a full recovery," he stated.

"We’re a bit stretched due to various absences, but we’ve worked on several solutions in training and I’m perfectly relaxed about my players’ ability to handle the situation."