Boothroyd defends Nicholls
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
“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
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
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
“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.”