Bari coach Conte: Thugs won't keep me away from Lecce

Bari coach Antonio Conte says he won't be frightened away from his hometown after Lecce fans attacked him last weekend.

"As soon as I finished a five-a-side match – which to make matters worse was a memorial for my cousin Francesco Renna, who died in a car crash a few years back - around seven or eight men walked on to the field and came straight at me," he explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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"They were holding sticks and metal bars. They tried to hit me, but fortunately didn't manage it. They were wearing T-Shirts with 'I Hate Bari' and even chased after my brother, Gianluca. Thankfully they were scared off by a police car and a few of our friends.

"It was a premeditated attack. Someone told them I was there. They arrived in three different cars during the match and, as soon as the final whistle blew, they took out their weapons.

"Physically I am fine, but psychologically I am hurting badly. I am furious at this incredibly serious incident. It happened in front of my wife, my nine-month-old baby and many other children who were at the game."

Nonetheless, Conte will not change his approach to coming home to the Salento region.

"Lecce is my city. I am not afraid here and blood is thicker than water. My family lives here. I just hope this incident can shock people into realising how ridiculous that attitude is and that those responsible do not get away with it."

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