17.01.2014 11:15 - in: Serie A S

    Mihajlovic: “A useful test”

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    The Sampdoria supremo previews tomorrow’s trip to Turin: “Both sides will be gunning for the win. They approach the encounter in great form and it will be interesting to see how much we’ve improved”

    Sampdoria boss Sinisa Mihajlovic believes tomorrow night’s Serie A encounter with Juventus will represent a useful yardstick with which to measure the initial progress made under his revolution in Genoa.

    The 44-year-old’s recent arrival at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris has proved the catalyst for a remarkable upturn in fortunes, guiding the side away from the relegation zone with an impressive run of just one defeat in his opening seven games at the helm.

    Now in a relative position of mid-table safety following Monday night’s 3-0 triumph over Udinese, Mihajlovic claims his troops will aim to continue their assault on the top half of the table by turning in a fearless performance when they line up against the reigning champions at Juventus Stadium.

    Speaking to the media in Liguria, the Serbian tactician began: “Both Sampdoria and Juventus will look to make a game of it. It will certainly be a decent match, with both sides going for it. It will be an extremely difficult one for us, but won't be a walk in the park for Juventus either. They approach it off the back of 11 consecutive victories and for us it will serve as a decent test to gauge exactly where we’re at.”

    Following Andrea Cossu’s successful man-marking job on Andrea Pirlo during the Bianconeri’s last outing in Cagliari, Mihajlovic was asked if he had any specific plans of his own to nullify the threat of the mercurial playmaker.

    His emphatic response, however, emphasised that Pirlo isn’t the only Juventus figure his charges will need to pay close attention to in Turin.

    “All of their players are worth keeping an eye on, otherwise they wouldn’t have won 11 straight games and be on course for three successive Scudetto triumphs. Conte has shown himself to be the best coach in the Italian championship.”

    The former Fiorentina coach, whose team currently occupy 12th position in the league, will travel to Piedmont without suspended midfield duo Nenad Krsticic and Roberto Soriano, but insists he remains unconcerned by their absences.

    In addition, he concluded by saying that any unexpected alterations made by his opposite number could be counteracted by a few tactical tweaks of his own. 

    “I’ve got confidence in those who will play and there will be no change in our offensive outlook tomorrow. Equally, I’m not worried about the prospect of Juventus switching formation. If that happens, we’ll look to counter it ourselves.”

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