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Feb 10, 2014

Title race not over yet, says Conte

Juventus coach Antonio Conte said the title race was far from over after his table-topping side threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Rzouki: Verona bravery thwarts Juve

Although their nine-point lead at the top of Serie A remains intact because Roma also drew, 0-0 at Lazio, Conte feels the points lost in the 94th minute could prove costly.

He urged his players to be more ruthless in seeing out games, and Gazzetta dello Sport quoted him as saying: "We could live to regret these two points lost.

"The title has not been won, and we'd better get that into our heads. We switched off. Maybe we thought it was all over, and that Verona would never get back into the game.

“We had already dropped our rhythm in the first half. [Luca] Toni's goal then generated anxiety, and it's a shame because we were controlling the game -- but when your opponents are on the ground, you've got to kill them off sportingly. We instead helped lift Verona up, forgetting that games last 95 minutes."

Conte called his players in for training on Monday rather than giving them their usual day off, and told them he would have no hesitation in altering his starting lineup.

"I don't know if some people feel their place in the team is certain, but I have no problems changing things if I notice they are not working," he said. "[Claudio] Marchisio, for example, is a great alternative. Nobody is certain of their place."

Carlos Tevez scored his first goals of 2014 to give Juve their two-goal cushion, but was downbeat at the final whistle, saying: It's worthless. We can't be happy. It's not like Juve to play like this.

"I don't care how many goals I score, come the end of the season, I want the Scudetto. We weren't tired, and it shouldn't be hard to try to keep our concentration."

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