Summerfield smells team spirit

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


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.”

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


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


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.”