Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has come in for a lot of criticism over the last couple of days after the 2-0 defeat against Barcelona midweek in the Champions League group phase game. He did receive a vote of confidence though from a former teammate with Claudio Marchisio insisting that he is the right man for the job while still needing some time to let his teachings settle and get implemented.
“We need the right amalgamation between players who haven’t worked with each other for long. We are working on it, but we need to be more aggressive and realise the moment we lose the ball, we’ve got to get it back straight away.
“Since I started, we’ve hardly ever had the full squad at our disposal for training. We’re not happy with the results, but we are happy with the approach of the players and their work ethic.
“I am not surprised by the pressure, because I’ve been under the spotlight for 20 years as a player. If anything, I am accustomed to it and am not interested in what people say.”
Pirlo also provided a squad update, with Cristiano Ronaldo finally testing negative for COVID-19. The coach said however that the forward would not start the weekend game against Spezia.
“He probably won’t be in the starting XI. It’s important just to have him with us, he trained at home, but it’s not the same thing as doing it on the field.
“Unfortunately, Matthijs de Ligt needs to wait a few more weeks, as he had a visit with a specialist after shoulder surgery and asked to wait a while longer. It’s all going well, he is training with us, but needs some more time.
“Leonardo Bonucci will play, he worked separately in training yesterday, but is fine. Giorgio Chiellini is not yet available and will remain in Turin.”
Paulo Dybala continues to be in the headlines, what does Pirlo have to say about his performances?
“It’s just a physical issue for him. I always said he wasn’t at 100 per cent, so he might play the first game well and then struggle after that. He just needs time to train and recover his full fitness. I can assure you that a player doesn’t think about a new contract when he’s on the pitch.
“Aaron Ramsey isn’t at his best yet after Dynamo Kiev either, so some need rest and we can’t afford it right now.”