Antonio Conte has praised his Juventus side for the character shown in this evening’s Serie A showdown against Udinese. The manager hailed the attempts of his men to break down the league’s meanest defence. 

After the final whistle, the 42-year-old said: “It must be recognised that today saw the two best championship defences come up against each other. Up until now, Udinese have always won at home, scoring 14 goals and conceding just two. This is why I say that we’ve shown resilience and solidity. Not everyone is capable of coming to Udine and creating important chances. We’re unbeaten and if when I arrived as manager, people had said that to me I would have considered them crazy.” 

 Conte adopted a different tactical approach for the game, reverting to a back three and bolstering the centre of the park: “Udinese, like Napoli, are a team that like to attack from wide areas and know how to exploit space. We prepared for the encounter looking to avoid being outnumbered on the flanks. Actually, we also play with three central midfielders when we go 4-3-3, because Lichtsteiner is often willing to get forward and therefore changing system comes quite naturally, also thanks to players like Estigarribia.” 

 The game was a tight, tactical affair in which preparation proved to be the key: “You must prepare very well for these kind of games, if not you can face several difficulties. We studied Udinese attentively and they did their homework on us. In modern football there’s the need to be well prepared and this is another reason why we’re unbeaten.”