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Pirlo wants to see a different fighting spirit from Juventus

Coach acknowledges the honeymoon is over and results are needed now

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus return to club action this weekend after the November international break with a home game against Cagliari on Saturday.

Speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference, coach Andrea Pirlo feels his side has used the break well.

“I don’t know if it’s our merit, they are definitely strong players.

“Maybe some had played a little less in recent weeks and it did them well playing for the national team, to gain confidence and pace.

“We are happy they are back with great desire and that they are now ready to play.”

While still adjusting to his new role in charge of Juve, Pirlo acknowledged that the honeymoon is over and that there are no more excuses.

“It’s a fundamental game. We come from inactivity due to the national teams, but we need it for our growth.

“Now, our championship must start, the adaptation period is over, and we will have 10 games to play as if they were Finals until Christmas.

“Starting with tomorrow, I want to see a different fighting spirit. Playing with great strength to achieve results.”

Cagliari led by Eusebio Di Francesco are in 11th place just three points off the Bianconeri and Pirlo knows they will be challenging opponents.

“They’re an excellent team, led by an excellent coach. Di Francesco brought great enthusiasm, a good game development both when they play with three and with four.

“They have good and experienced players both in midfield and in attack, it will be an important and difficult game, but we won’t have to look at the result but only at ourselves and try to win the game.

“I want to see a team that want to achieve a result in any way, we must have the hunger and desire to win every game without neglecting the smallest details. What Juve have always done in these years.”

Defenders Alex Sandro and Matthijs De Ligt have both resumed training after missing games with injuries, but it appears only the youngster is ready for tomorrow.

“They are fine. De Ligt had been training with us for a while and then we waited for the response from the orthopaedist and now everything is fine. He’s ready to play.

“Alex Sandro trained with us last week, it will take a little longer to start him, but he can be called up.”

Pirlo is looking forward to some consistency in his backline after being forced to tinker with his lineup due to suspensions and injuries.

“I hope the experiments are over. I have had the opportunity to work with players who are super willing to talk and to make technical and tactical changes, and that satisfies me.

“Then, depending on the matches, maybe something will always change, some movements by someone, but let’s first give an energetic and straight impression.”