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Allegri told Dybala to work hard and concentrate

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Manager’s comments ahead of Juventus game at Bologna

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Juventus travel to Bologna tomorrow with an opportunity to leapfrog Inter Milan into second place after the Nerazzuri lost today and were passed by Napoli. Paulo Dybala has had a tumultuous few weeks following reports this week that he had broken up with his girlfriend and there was legal action underway with his sponsors.

“It’s unlikely that Dybala will start. He is available, I have to decide whether to play with two or three midfielders, but then everyone is up for debate. Perhaps he made everyone too accustomed to the good life.

“This is just advice from someone who has great experience, it wasn’t criticism. Everyone has to deal with a private life and a career, that’s what being a professional is all about. I am a Coach, not a guard dog. I told him to work hard and concentrate, as that is the best medicine.

“Paulo is an extraordinary lad, he’s almost 24 years old and can still improve a great deal. He is not in the best physical shape and hasn’t scored a goal for a while, but everyone goes through periods like that, including Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain.

“He put in a great assist for Higuain against Napoli, let’s not forget that. You all seem frightened by a goal drought, but it has happened to everyone.”

Juve’s squad has been decimated by injury, with multiple key players out.

“Miralem Pjanic could start, as he trained well. Juan Cuadrado will be back against Roma, Giorgio Chiellini can resume training during the week. Gianluigi Buffon has this issue that needs to be evaluated and is preventing him from playing.

Alex Sandro is fine and he will play tomorrow. He had two extraordinary years, between highs and lows, but is finding himself again. Either Andrea Barzagli or Daniele Rugani will play tomorrow in defence.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Bologna were one of the few teams to hold Inter earlier this season, and will prove to be a challenge at the Stadio Dall’Ara.

“These are usually hard-fought and difficult matches. Bologna are well-organised, they run hard and have good technique. We need a solid performance.

“Everyone worked well in training and now we need to win tomorrow in Bologna.”