English League 2

Summerfield smells team spirit

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Wed, 30 Jan 2013 11:53:00

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte thought his side "deserved better" after they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-final of the Coppa Italia by Lazio on Tuesday night.

Substitute Sergio Floccari's injury-time winner gave the Biancocelesti a 2-1 win on the night mere moments after Arturo Vidal looked to have sent the tie into extra-time.

Although Lazio seemed to be on course for victory when midfielder Alvaro Gonzalez's diving header gave them a 53rd-minute lead, Conte thought Juventus were the better team over the course of the two legs.

"We certainly deserved better over the 180 minutes, but Lazio went through and congratulations to them," he told the club's official website.

"The last chance had a decisive bearing, because we would have qualified had it gone differently. The lads played an excellent game, but that's football and we can only take note of it."

Tuesday night's defeat means Serie A leaders Juventus have won just one of their last six matches since resuming action from the winter break.

Conte thinks his team may have turned a corner, however.

"I'm happy with how my players expressed themselves. We know exactly where we've been lacking in this recent period," added Conte, who was this week handed a two-match touchline ban as a result of his angry outburst in the wake of Saturday's draw with Genoa.

Gills striker Cody McDonald netted from close range after Nicholls misjudged a Matt Fish long ball to put the hosts ahead in the fourth minute before Myles Weston smashed in off the post to secure the win in the League Two clash at Priestfield.

Boothroyd said: "It swirled around all night and we paid the price with a mistake from the very reliable Lee.

"I think he is probably the best goalkeeper in the league along with Matt Duke.

"He has been outstanding for us and I am sure he will continue to be. Gillingham are top of the league but I honestly think we were the better side for the majority of the game.

"Myles Weston was in Ben Tozer's pocket for most of the game but he scores and the scoreline looks much more comfortable than it was.

"Gillingham are top of the league for a reason because they get results but if we perform like we did in the first half then we won't be too far away."

Jacques Maghoma's low shot 20 minutes from time brought them a first away point in 2013 after a barren run without a goal on their travels this year.

James Constable had earlier headed Oxford in front from Tony Capaldi's corner on his first game back following a four-match suspension.

And Summerfield was delighted with Albion's resilience.

He said: "We showed real character and real grit. Hopefully it's a step in the right direction in terms of our away performances."

The draw took the Brewers into the automatic promotion places for the first time this season.

Conditions at the Kassam Stadium, where rugby side London Welsh also play, were atrocious, with the pitch totally churned up along one side.

Summerfield said: "Conditions were terrible and made it difficult for both sets of players.

"The pitch was in a hell of a state and the wind was swirling badly. Decision-making on the ball was nigh-on impossible.

"To be fair, we did enough to get a result, I felt. We have been trying everything and trying to think of everything, to stop this bad away run. We went back to 4-4-2 and we tried to play."

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