Conte: Juventus have not failed

The Bianconeri coach believes his side can learn from their Champions League disappointment but feels they have been unfairly criticised
Antonio Conte insists Juventus' group-stage exit from the Champions League on Wednesday should not be viewed as failure and is hoping his side can bounce back against Sassuolo on Sunday.

The Bianconeri were eliminated with a 1-0 loss to Galatasaray in midweek and the likes of Champions League-winning coach Marcello Lippi believe Juve's inability to progress from Group B - which also included Copenhagen and Real Madrid - must be seen as failure.

However, Conte, who is currently preparing his side for the Serie A clash against Sassuolo, was irked by that view when questioned in his pre-match press conference and he is adamant the league leaders will respond to adversity.

"Failure in what? That we didn’t win the Champions League? If our target for the season was to win the Champions League then it’s a failure," he told reporters sarcastically.

"Actually if I remember correctly we had to win the Champions League, then in order: the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia, having already won the Supercoppa Italiana... Yes, I promised the treble.

"We didn’t start strong this year and that damaged our chances, but it takes time. This isn’t the same Champions League I used to play in, as you face teams that are economically difficult to match... It will be difficult to see an Italian team in the final in the years to come.

"I have already explained that we went out because we didn’t really play the last match, but shouldn’t have left ourselves in that position in the first place."

Conte believes back-to-back defeats earlier on in the campaign to Fiorentina and Real Madrid asked questions of Juve, but that they responded well, and he is confident that his side will once again return with aplomb.

"We know in football that you can win and you can lose, we have to be prepared," he continued.

"In two-and-a-half years we have fallen a few times. Now we have to be good to get up as we did after the defeats against Fiorentina and Real Madrid."

Juve sit top of Serie A, three points ahead of second-placed Roma, heading into this weekend's fixtures.