25.02.2016 16:00 - in: Serie A S

    Hernanes: “We mustn’t rest on our laurels”

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    Hernanes discusses seizing his Tuesday night chance, keeping the Scudetto firmly in sight and of course Sunday’s Serie A showdown with former club Inter at Juventus Stadium

    Coming off the bench 45 minutes into the biggest game of the season, tasked with overturning the advantage of an impressive Bayern Munich must stand as one of the most daunting remits for any substitute.

    Add to that a lack of first-team action, playing just 112 minutes in 2016 against Sampdoria and Chievo, and it is easy to comprehend quite how impressive Anderson Carvalho Viana Lima Hernanes’ second-half performance was in Tuesday night’s Champions League first-leg draw with the German champions.

    Tenacious in the tackle, calm on the ball and flawless in his decision-making, Hernanes’ cameo was one of the catalysts for the Bianconeri’s excellent comeback and for the Brazilian, served to vindicate a personal patience and self-belief that has remained undiminished since arriving at the club in late August.

    “I’ve yet to miss out on any of my goals so far in my career and thanks for that goes to God. Recently my own objective has been to make myself available to the team and contribute as best as I can,” the midfielder began in today’s exclusive interview with the club’s official television channel, Jtv.

    “All along I knew the moment would come when I could show my qualities so while I wasn’t expecting it to arrive on Tuesday night, I think I responded well to the challenge."

    For all the excitement emanating from Juventus Stadium in the closing stages of Tuesday’s frenetic encounter, the playmaker knows that an even tougher test awaits the Bianconeri in March’s winner-takes-all second leg at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

    “The return leg will be tough and we will need to produce quite a performance to reach the quarter-finals at the expense of an excellent team. Everyone will now be expecting to see that Juve of the second half and we have to believe that we can get the result we want as we have done so consistently in the past few months.”

    There will of course be time to think about Bayern once again in a couple of weeks but for now all attentions in the Juventus dressing room are fixed back on domestic duties, beginning with Sunday’s Serie A clash with Inter, the first of two meetings with the Nerazzurri in a matter of days.

    And, despite switching black and blue for black and white just last summer, Hernanes has eyes only on reinforcing his new team’s title push and ensuring a repeat performance of January’s 3-0 Coppa Italia semi-final victory over his former employers.

     “It’s a massive game not only for us but also for Inter; both teams need points for differing reasons. After our last meeting they will play more carefully and keep things tighter so we’re all expecting a tough 90 minutes. All we can do is focus on our own qualities and try to impose our style of play onto them and not the other way around.”

    All in all, a perfect opportunity then for the reigning champions to break clear of the chasing pack and take firm control of a thus far wildly unpredictable title race.

    “It’s been an exciting season for the neutral with so many teams playing well; even if Serie A isn’t perceived in the same way as it was before,” il Profeta concluded.

    “We’ve produced an extraordinary reaction to falling off the pace early on but we can’t rest on our laurels just yet.

    "We are competing with Napoli for the Scudetto at the moment but who is to say that another team won’t put together another run like ours and place themselves in the title picture? It’s up to us to ensure that we concentrate on our own results and make sure that doesn’t happen.” 

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