Conte makes strong first impression at Juve

Juventus and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini says his team-mates are impressed by new head coach Antonio Conte.Conte, who led Serie B side Siena to the top-flight in the last campaign, was pegged to take over at the Stadio Olimpico following Luigi Delneri’s sacking in May.

Delneri was axed after Juve finished the 2010/11 season with a whimper, winning just one of their last six games and finishing five points shy of the Europa League places.

Chiellini, who has made nearly 170 appearances in six years for the Old Lady, believes the injection of fresh ideas will serve Juve well as they look to return to challenging for the Scudetto, a trophy that has eluded the club since 2003.

“The first impression is positive. He is a very clear coach, convinced of his ideas, he knows what he wants,” Chiellini said.

“We are working very hard to do 100 percent what he wants. We still have a lot of time ahead, and we will improve day after day, and match after match, but he proved he is convinced, competent and above all, clear.”

The 26-year-old also predicted Juve would show signs of improvement in the coming Serie A season without the distraction of a European campaign.

“It’s true we are a new group, but it’s also true we are a group to discover and we can have pleasant surprises too,” he said.

“The fact we won’t play in international competitions will help us give something more in the championship, as it happened in (Claudio) Ranieri’s first year (in 2007/08).”

“We are working and we must keep working with this intensity and the same desire to do well, after these two unhappy seasons.”