Juventus
    Juventus
      20.11.2016 00:16 - in: Serie A S

      Allegri: "Just as important to win these games"

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      "The lads are showing their mental strength because they're not taking a single game lightly"

      Massimiliano Allegri has praised the Bianconeri's ability to maintain their focus regardless of the opposition after watching them dispatch Pescara with a polished performance on Saturday night.

      Juve's Week 13 fixture against the Serie A strugglers came sandwiched between the international break and a decisive Champions League tie against Sevilla on Tuesday, yet the team set about the task at hand with absolute commitment, dominating proceedings from the first minute to the last.

      And the players' dedication didn't fail to escape Allegri's notice.

      "The lads are showing their mental strength because they're not taking a single game lightly. That could have happened in a game like tonight's but instead we stayed firmly grounded.

      "When we bring in the guys who have played less they show they're up to the task too. That's crucial because it means the other lads can take a breather.

      "It was an important win today because these three points are worth just as much as the three points in Milan – which we didn't get – and the three we picked up against Napoli.

      "The first game back after the international break is always a bit tricky and Pescara had been playing well. They did well tonight too and the fact they carved out fewer chances than usual was down to us.

      "They harried us a lot in the first half and plugged all the gaps. Once we got the first goal the game opened up but I'm pleased with how well we played – especially as we kept a clean sheet as well."

      The boss went on to analyse the individual performances of some of his players, starting with Gonzalo Higuain, who didn't get on the score sheet on Saturday night but went close on a number of occasions and toiled for the side.

      "He performed really well tonight and put in a shift for the team playing between the lines. He and [Mario] Mandzukic can play together if they take it in turns and pull their weight in that position."

      On Sami Khedira's strong start to the season: "He's played three times as many games as he had at this stage last year. When he ups the tempo he can take the team by the scruff of the neck and he gets into good scoring positions too."

      Finally, Allegri dished out some praise for Brazilian pair Alex Sandro and Hernanes.

      "Alex Sandro is an important player and he can get even better because he occasionally overdoes things and wastes energy. Having said that, he's still up there among the top three full-backs in the world.

      "Hernanes played well today as he has other times and I'm happy with the goal he scored."

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