Juventus have had a pretty traumatic April and will be looking to get back on track as their campaign for the seventh straight Scudetto has hit a rocky patch. Manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media ahead of the tough test at the San Siro tomorrow against Inter Milan, and addressed the chatter regarding a dressing room row behind the scenes.
“I’m sorry to hear these things, they’re without foundation and it puts everyone’s professionalism in question. We just have to let it go. We have five games that lead us to the end of the season.
“There are times of difficulty in a season, when things go less well for you. We didn’t go from being unbeatable to losers.”
About tomorrow’s game -
“Now we have Inter, at a wonderful stadium, against a team who have conceded only 23 goals. The title won’t be decided between tomorrow and Sunday. There’ll still be a long way to go.
“We must play with courage, chutzpah and carefreeness. These are beautiful moments to live through.
“We’ll have to be ready for every ball, in every 50-50. On Sunday, we suffered 18 fouls and committed nine. Against Inter, a tough performance is needed.
“Our first match against Inter was one of our best performances. We’ll have to win this one for the League. Inter will have to win it for the Champions League.”
How about against Napoli, what happened?
“Let’s think about our upcoming games, precisely the next one, which is against Inter. We’ve had some good games recently, except against Crotone and Napoli, which were two bad ones.
“We conceded a 90th-minute goal against Napoli, as we did against Real. We need to be more attentive. Talking is useless. Now we need to be quiet and work.
“There’s everything to play for in the title race. I hear Napoli are the favourites because they’ll win their next four games. We just have to take to the field and have good games, playing for our chances.
“Right now, everyone must be trying to do something more so we can achieve our two objectives: the League and Coppa Italia.”
How have the fans been responding to him in the light of recent results?
“They have love for Juventus, they can express and form their own opinions. Whoever wins deserve to, and Juve have done for six years.
“Things didn’t go well against Napoli and Crotone, but the fans have always been very nice and respectful towards me.
“What matters now is the match against Inter. We’ll need to live it with enthusiasm and carefreeness. If we do that, we’ll probably win the Scudetto.”
Speaking about the squad status, he started with his formation -
“Back three against Inter? Absolutely not.
“Apart from Stefano Sturaro and Mattia De Sciglio, everyone’s available tomorrow, even Federico Bernardeschi.
“Mario Mandzukic is fine, he’s likely to play, but Giorgio Chiellini’s season is practically over.”
“Andrea Barzagli could play from the outset. He wasn’t able to play 90 minutes in our last game.”
Finally, the customary question about his future -
“I made my decision a year ago, when I signed an extension with Juventus (until 2020).”