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Conte: Scudetto not won yet

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has refused to concede his side have the Serie A title all but secured after they moved nine points clear of second-placed Napoli on Sunday.

• Serie A review
• Blog: Last-gasp Juve nine clear

Napoli's 2-0 loss to Chievo meant the Bianconeri's 1-0 win over Catania extended their lead atop the table with ten games remaining.

But Conte believes Juve could surrender their title defence if they become too complacent with their current position.

"We cannot think we have the Scudetto in our hands and manage our strengths from now on, when we try and manage games we always make mistakes and disasters," he said.

"(If we did believe the Scudetto is already won), we would start playing more defensively and that's not our style, that's not what I tell my guys. That would go against my principles and do damage if my guys were to start thinking like that."

Conte praised his side's maturity in the victory over a defensively minded Catania, insisting their refusal to panic before Emanuele Giaccherini's injury-time winner proved the difference.

"We won thanks to our determination and confidence today, we won because my players believed we could make it till the end of the game," he said.

"We faced Catania that is the revelation team this season and we forced them to play a very defensive game. They played in defence and played very well, their organisation was great and sometimes they managed to counter attack, but Gigi (Gianluigi Buffon) had to save only one shot at goal today.

"My team managed to lead the game and I'm very happy, we surely proved we are mature, these are games that you could risk to lose if you lose concentration and calmness, while we were great and relaxed, we believed in ourselves until the end."

Goalkeeper Buffon was quick to acknowledge the importance of succeeding on a weekend where Juve's rivals slipped up, insisting the Italian champions have a "great advantage" to claim the title.

"If we look at the results of the opponents, we can say that today we have won six points," he said. "Our win was a hard-fought victory and important, and we now have a great advantage on both Napoli and Milan.

"Today we almost had to settle for only a draw, perhaps hoping that something would happen, but then that [the goal] happened. Among the pursuers who are playing best are Milan, but Napoli is an quality team.

"It is important to get as many points as possible between us and them. The more you put on the board, the better, so we cannot lower our guard now. We have a special group at Juve."


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