Conte makes perfect start to tenure

Antonio Conte was pleased to make a winning start to his reign as Juventus coach with a crushing 12-1 victory over Val di Susa amateurs.The former Juventus player, who impressed last season in taking Sienna to promotion from Serie B, was appointed by the Turin outfit in May.

He succeeded Gigi Delneri, who was sacked after guiding Juventus to a disappointing seventh-place finish last season, missing out on qualification for the Champions League and Europa League.

In the team’s first pre-season outing, Conte handed starts to new signings Stephan Lichtsteiner, Michele Pazienza and former AC Milan stalwart Andrea Pirlo.

While Val di Susa did manage a first-half strike in Friday’s friendly in Bardonecchia, they were comprehensively outclassed by their more illustrious opponents, with Alessandro Matri netting a hat-trick and Luca Toni, Felipe Melo and Fabio Quagliarella also on target.

“I’m satisfied,” Conte said.

“After seven days of working hard, we showed our idea of what we were trying to achieve here and what we will do every day throughout the season. I’m happy with the guys.”

“Obviously we need to work a lot, in all areas, including our organisation and our level of intensity too. There’s a lot still to do, but I’m relaxed because I have a very receptive group, the guys all want to do well.”

“The line-ups today were just for training purposes. They don’t mean anything in particular. There’s an element of organisation in how I play, and the ones who were picked know what to do, both in attack and defence.

“I’m making lots of changes on purpose, because individual players can be changed without altering the final result.”

Juventus will take on Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in a pre-season competition on July 23, followed by further warm-up matches against Mexican clubs America and Guadalajara.