Conte wants more from high-flying Juve

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte is urging his players to outstrip the remarkable achievements of a record-breaking year, starting by taking three points from Sampdoria.

Record breakers!

The Bianconeri took Serie A by storm in 2012, closing out an unbeaten league campaign to win the Scudetto before striding through to the knock-out stages of the Champions League in the autumn.

A four-game winning run ensured Conte's men were eight points clear of the chasing pack on Christmas Day, in the process beating an existing club record set by Fabio Capello's team as they picked up 94 points in a calendar year.

And now Conte is demanding more of the same, telling juventus.com: "Beating the previous record by ending the year on 94 points was an incredible achievement.

"We've got six points more than we did at this stage last year, but Inter and Napoli are also faring better than last time out.

"It won't be easy to follow up our achievements, but this record has been established to be beaten. I'd like it to be done by us, if not I would be the first to compliment whoever does so in the future.

"The Champions League remains a great dream. However, the fans must remember that we're still developing and have a plan in place to restore the team to being a main player in Europe.

"Winning the Scudetto again would mean that solid foundations are in place and we're building something important."

Conte is expected to hand a debut to defender Federico Peluso, who arrived on loan from Atalanta this week.

"He is a player who will enable us to compensate for a need that we already had in the summer, as there was no direct backup for (Giorgio) Chiellini," Conte added.

"Peluso can play on the left side of central defence or as an orthodox left-back. It's an excellent signing for us and I'm convinced he'll make a big contribution."

Juve may have approached Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente with a view to taking the Spain international on a Bosman free transfer at the end of the season, but Conte would not be drawn on any move for Shanghai Shenhua forward Didier Drogba.

He said: "Drogba has never been offered to me by the club, nor have I mentioned him as a name. There are economic factors to be taken into consideration and they will be respected.

"Llorente is a Spanish international who has done well with Atletico Bilbao. The club needs to assess if there's the possibility of bringing in a great player on a free transfer, and if he accepts a move to Juventus.

"I don't think Llorente would have considered us a year and a half ago, but now we've regained our appeal."

Delio Rossi is searching for his first win since replacing Ciro Ferrara as Sampdoria boss last month, but any victory will come without injured midfielder Enzo Maresca.

Maxi Lopez, Simon Poulsen and Sergio Romero are also struggling for fitness with Roberto Soriano suspended for the trip to Turin.



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