Juventus
    Juventus
      16.10.2016 00:27 - in: Serie A S

      Allegri pleased with progress but warns season is long

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      The coach's verdict after victory over Udinese: “If you want to win the title, you have to experience nights like these”

      Massimiliano Allegri’s comments in his pre-match press conference proved to be right on the money: the first game back after the international break is indeed always awkward.

      The coach was therefore keen to pay tribute to his players at full time for maintaining their focus against Udinese en route to another three points.

      “It was a tricky match and the lads have secured a very important win. If you want to win the Scudetto, you need to experience nights like these.

      “We didn’t play brilliantly in the first half but we were better after the break. These are the sort of matches where if you don’t win, you’re in danger of not going all the way in the title race.

      “That said, after tonight that’s another win ticked off in our efforts to achieve our end-of-season target.”

      Allegri always insists on taking things one game a time. “We’ve won seven out of eight and every victory is a step towards the finish line. It’s a long season, there are six-pointers to come and lots of team that mustn’t be underestimated.

      “It’s important to know how to the read game. Tonight was one of those nights where we knew we had to dig in. Plus we all need to work together if we’re to succeed in winning a sixth straight league title.

      “Our play must be based around occupying the space without the coach necessarily needing to say so. Once that becomes a habit we’ll have matured sufficiently. Obviously you can then switch formation during a match, which is also a way of motivating the players and raising their focus.”

      Allegri then touched upon some individuals. “[Mario] Mandzukic played well, while [Leo] Bonucci had a week off planned before the international break but had to come back in with [Giorgio] Chiellini injured. Speaking of which, it shouldn’t be anything serious for him and we’ll see whether he’ll be fit for Lyon.”

      Finally, on the midweek Champions League clash with Lyon: “We’ll recover tomorrow, before leaving for France on Monday. We can’t do a lot in the next few days but they’re good lads and they respect the few instructions I give them.”

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