Conte urging Coppa concentration
Juventus coach Antonio Conte said Wednesday he will be taking the Coppa Italia seriously ahead of Thursday's last-16 match against Bologna.
The Coppa has a poor reputation in Italy with teams often fielding weaker sides for the competition, despite the possibility of qualifying for Europe.
That has started to change recently with Inter Milan in particular winning it four times in the last seven years. The last time a team outside of the Milanese (Inter and AC Milan) and Roman (Roma and Lazio) giants won the competition was back in 2002 when Parma triumphed.
"The Italian Cup is an objective which we must honour," said Conte. "I expect great concentration and determination from everyone and I want to see if we know how to maintain the same intensity and tempo that we have in the league."
However, he admitted he will be using his fringe players. "It's an important opportunity for those who haven't played much so far but who have been working professionally every month. I expect a significant response."
Although the league leaders, alongside Roma, have won this competition more times than anyone else with nine, Juve have not lifted the trophy since 1995. Bologna for their part have won the Coppa Italia twice in 1970 and 1974.