Juventus take on Bologna tomorrow in the first game of the second half of the 2016-17 season. Manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media ahead of the game, and was questioned about his angry comments directed at directors Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici after the Super Cup loss.
“It was a normal situation of blowing off steam. It has absolutely nothing to do with my future or the transfer situation, those were totally separate.
"I praised the lads so many times for all they’ve done and all they are doing, so just once allow me to vent a bit. In a game like that, which can be lost if the opposition is better than us or prove themselves better on the day, my problem was after 35 minutes we left the building.
“We did not deal with the game at all and well and so our interpretation of the match is what irritated me. The lads have done more over the calendar year than anyone else in Europe, but on that occasion they didn't understand the importance of the occasion. I got angry because they deserved it, for once in three years.
"As for my future, I am happy at Juventus and naturally hope to stay here for a long time. I don’t think my era at Juventus is over. I am very happy here and hope to stay for many years.”
There’s been plenty of conversation about Patrice Evra possibly leaving the club during the January transfer window.
“I won’t talk about transfers, because that is down to the club. As long as players are at Juventus, they have to be at the disposal of the Coach.
“There is some instability created by transfer gossip, so the less we talk about it, the better. I am against the January window, as it creates distraction and can destabilise situations during an important month of games.”
Allegri also updated the team’s injury situation. Club captain Gianluigi Buffon is down with the flu and will miss the game.
“I think we will play with four at the back. I can confirm Paulo Dybala will start, while Buffon probably won’t even be in the squad. He’s recovering from flu, but it was a nasty one and so it might be better if he just focuses on recovery. Neto will be in goal tomorrow.
“Andrea Barzagli is called up, I have doubts as to whether he will start. During the week we’ll have Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro back.”
Opponents Bologna sit in fifteenth place, but Allegri wants his side to be more responsible.
“This is a dangerous game, especially as we have conceded a goal in nine of our last 11 home fixtures.
“I told the lads they need to improve their control of the game. Possession is not necessarily control, as I point out in 17 matches we’ve conceded 14 goals, so that needs to be worked on.
“Bologna tend to close up well and go on the counter. The first match back after a winter break is always full of hidden dangers too.”
He finished by talking about the goals for 2017.
“I was cross in Doha, but from tomorrow we must resume the path towards making history, which will be to win a sixth consecutive Scudetto. That chance might never happen again and we want to enter the world of legend.
“Porto are accustomed to playing in the Champions League, knocked Roma out of the preliminary round and we mustn’t think that passage to the next stage is to be taken for granted.”