JTV: Hi Anderson, great to see you again. How are things going on the training ground at the moment and how are you feeling about the rest of the season?
Hernanes: “We’ve been working very well over the international break particularly on our fitness, something that I always relish. Personally I’m in good shape, playing well and looking forward to the rest of the season immensely.
“Both on and off the field, the team, the backroom staff at Juventus and my family are what give me the inspiration to succeed. Looking back on the most difficult moments of my career and the way I overcame them is a great source of motivation and, now more than ever, I’m ready to kick on into a new phase of my footballing journey."
JTV: You’ve started the last three matches. How are you enjoying your recent run in the side?
H: “I’m very pleased with the way I have grown into my new role in the team, playing in front of the defence, and that is the result of a greater understanding of the coach’s demands and a decent run in the side. When you arrive at a new club it’s natural that you need a bit of time to start producing your best form."
JTV: What have been your impressions of our summer signings?
H: “Some world-class players arrived over the summer and they have immediately become key components of a squad that aims to win everything possible at home and abroad. We’re in the process of building an excellent team, both in terms of the players we are attracting and the work we do on the training ground every day. Plenty of teams bring in star names and fail to gel them together; I don’t see that happening here.”
JTV: Juve have a four-point lead over Napoli with a clutch of teams waiting behind them. Who do you think are the main Scudetto contenders this year?
H: “The season is still young and, from now on, there will be no easy fixtures. I expect to see Napoli, Roma and Inter pushing us all the way for the title this year."
JTV: Do you have a particular pre-match routine that you follow before taking to the field?
H: “Before every game I visualise what I need to do and how I will do it, shutting out any thoughts beyond what is about to happen on the field. Once you focus on the essentials of the match, the rest will follow easily with the right mentality.”
JTV: A big week is coming up with Udinese coming here on Saturday and Lyon immediately after in the Champions League. What are you expecting from both matches?
H: "We absolutely have to keep a hold of top spot in our Champions League group so coming back from Lyon with three points is crucial. If we do that, we’ll open up an important advantage over one of our main qualification rivals.
"As for this weekend, Udinese will come out fighting, not only because of their change of coach but also since they’ll be playing at Juventus Stadium, a factor that often brings the best out of visiting teams. They’re on a tough run and will no doubt be looking to bounce back against us and put on a show for their new manager."