06.01.2016 19:18 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri: “We’ve grown as a team”

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    Massimiliano Allegri rightly enjoys Juventus’ 3-0 victory over Verona but believes there is still more to come from his side

    Massimiliano Allegri had said it himself in yesterday’s pre-match press conference: when attempting to hunt down the league leaders, there is no room for mistakes.

    On that basis, the Tuscan had plenty of reasons to be satisfied with his team’s showing in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Verona, their eighth in a row in Serie A, and for their “growth” as a group in the last couple of months.

    Speaking after the game, Allegri began: “We’ve grown enormously on all fronts and for me that is the key difference between what you are seeing now and what you saw at the start of the season.

    “Back then, we weren’t playing badly and I believe some of our performances were better than those during the opening months of the previous campaign. Now however, we are quicker, stronger and have all of our key players back to full fitness.”

    From the touchline, the boss was pleased with his side, who played with a confidence of a team on an irresistible surge of mid-season form, but still sees room for improvement for the reigning champions, particularly in the speed with which they move the ball and their management of matches in the closing stages.

    “We began the game very well but we seemed to take our foot off the pedal slightly once we had taken the lead. The result of that of course was (Gianluigi) Buffon having to make a terrific save from Giampaolo Pazzini.

    “Our performance, on the whole, was good against a Verona side who did themselves credit this afternoon and made us work hard for the three points. That said we still need to improve the pace of our passing and our control of the match once we take the lead.”

    Returning to the undoubted positives of Juve’s performance, the Tuscan was quick to draw attention to the additional work dedicated to set-pieces on the training ground in the week leading up to Wednesday afternoon, which were of course the source of the Old Lady’s opening strikes at Juventus Stadium.

    “It was no coincidence that our goals came from two set plays today. It’s a part of the game that we’ve really worked hard on in the past few days. Corners and free-kicks can be vital sources of goals particulary in a tight game.”

    And a final word on his striking options?

    “I’m pleased for (Simone) Zaza and the regularity with which he’s finding the net. (Alvaro) Morata played well, he attacked the space and closed down the man in possession at every opportunity. He needs to remain calm and keep working hard, his strikes have been crucial for us in the past.

    “As for (Paulo) Dybala, he’s continuing to improve every aspect of his game. He’s very focused on achieving his goals and is a great player to have in the squad.”

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