Three days can be a long time in football. To think that on Sunday evening Juventus succumbed to their first defeat of the season at the hands of Inter, only to post their largest margin of victory this term on Wednesday against Cagliari.
Summing up such a rollercoaster 72 hours or so requires a degree of balance to make sense of events and that is precisely what Hernanes – aka ‘Il Profeta’ – provided in today’s interview with Sky and Mediaset.
“People have said that losing to Inter would serve us well in the long run. I’m not convinced that’s the right way of putting it, but it was definitely a case of football showing its unforgivable side and that if you don’t go into games with a real sense of purpose and determination then you don’t win.
“We needed a reaction to that result and that’s what we got. Allegri set us up for yesterday’s match in a certain way and we followed his instructions to very good effect.”
While the Bianconeri managed to get last Sunday’s disappointment out of their systems at the first time of asking, Hernanes was under no illusions that it would be plain sailing from now on and urged his team-mates to keep up the intensity for this weekend’s match away to Palermo.
“We need to be on our toes again for the next game too. If we’re found wanting at all in terms of concentration then we risk being punished for it.
“We have to be confident of what we’re doing in order to take our style of play to the next level, even in the face of potentially difficult moments that could crop up.”
Confronting tricky times head on and coming out the other side with credit is exactly what Hernanes has shown by developing his game as a deep-lying midfielder to produce possibly his best performance yet in the black and white on Wednesday.
“I’m at ease with myself, I’ve never been worried by any criticism coming my way. When I’m not playing as I know I can do then I’d even have a go at myself. It’s important to stress that I’ve changed role, I needed time to adapt and it wasn’t easy, but now I’ve understood what I need to do and how to go about my business on the pitch in this new position. I’m very satisfied.
“With Allegri I have a great relationship. He’s very good at managing different situations and he’s been very clear and direct in his dealings with me, which I really appreciate.”
Looking forwards, Hernanes admitted that his current employers were brimming with quality, but stressed the need to keep striving for more as they set their sights on ever more ambitious goals this campaign.
“This is probably the strongest side in which I’ve ever played. Nevertheless, I know that we have plenty of room for improvement and that we’ll raise our game even more by overcoming new hurdles. We’re ready to take on the challenges that lie in wait.”