On the eve of a crucial Champions League encounter away to Olympique Lyonnais, Massimiliano Allegri underlined the need for a watertight display in France as the Bianconeri bid to maintain pole position in Group H.
Here follow the Tuscan tactician’s key comments from this afternoon’s press conference.
“From Claudio Marchisio to Giorgio Chiellini, we're missing some key players for the game but every good team should be able to roll with the punches and adapt.
“It was a shame to lose Mario Mandzukic to injury at such a late stage of our preparations but, like Giorgio, we expect him to be available again soon.
“The fact that I’ve shuffled the pack in the midfield positions so far this season is more a result of selecting the right players for the right occasions rather than a conscious decision to rotate the squad.
“The deep-lying role in front of the defence requires extra attention and in Hernanes and Mario Lemina we have two players who are very capable of doing a job there even if their individual characteristics are different.
“For any given match you have to expect that there will be absentees and changes to be made but, ultimately, all that matters is that the team plays well and returns home with three points. There are no easy fixtures at this level.”
Unique Champions League
“Lyon were unfortunate to lose to Sevilla in their last game in the group, while in the league at Nice they fell behind straight from the kick-off and struggled to recover.
“They are an awkaward side to play against, particularly at home, and with the likes of Nabil Fekir and Alexandre Lacazette they have the quality to hurt you if you give them any opportunities to attack.
“They change their system and mentality when they play in front of their own fans and we’re expecting a difficult 90 minutes from them.
“We know the pace and penetration they have on the break so, as ever, we will need to be on our guard and to produce a flawless performance to leave here with a win.”
Progress in past year
“A lot has changed at the club since losing the final to Barcelona in June 2015. Our progress on the European stage is there for all to see and it’s a testament to our growing confidence at this level that finishing top of the group is the minimum requirement expected of us.
“The biggest difference has naturally been the high turnover of players. The club has done an excellent job in keeping the squad extremely competitive and, as you saw in the summer, we were able to add strength and depth in key positions, recruiting some world-class talents.”