Massimiliano Allegri has called on his men to defy their recent critics by bouncing back from Wednesday’s defeat in Genoa at the first time of asking tomorrow night against Empoli.
The Bianconeri travel to Tuscany without a win from their previous two away trips and Allegri is hoping it will be third time lucky when his men take to the field at the Carlo Castellani.
Speaking to reporters in Vinovo, the 47-year-old began: “Criticism will only spur us on to do better and it’s important we go for the win tomorrow. The team showed excellent desire and intensity against Genoa, and I think our worst performance was actually in the home game with Palermo.
“When you lose a game at Juventus there’s always talk of crisis but I think that’s wide of the mark. We created a great deal and gave very little away in the last three games, yet have been punished on the few occasions afforded to our opposition. We need to be sharper in front of goal and shut out our opponents completely.
“We’re on course for all of our targets and I think this team will go far. Doing so also involves experiencing moments like the week we’ve just had, in which we dropped important points. But the same also happened to Roma against Sampdoria.”
One positive from an otherwise disappointing evening in Liguria was the 20-minute cameo of Alvaro Morata, whose impressive performance has thrust him right into contention for a starting berth tomorrow night.
“I think there’s a good chance he’ll start tomorrow. He might play alongside Llorente, who I believe would work well with him up front, but I’ve also got Giovinco and Coman in good form. Tevez could begin on the bench.”
Concluding with a thought on the opposition, Allegri expressed his admiration for opposite number Maurizio Sarri before hailing the club’s excellent work in producing its own homegrown talents.
“Empoli play quick, lively football and you can only take your hat off to Sarri and the club, seeing as seven of their starting line-up have come through the academy. There are youngsters capable of playing in Italy and Empoli provide the example.”