19.08.2016 14:00 - in: Serie A S

    Strong start imperative for Allegri

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    The boss meets the media ahead of tomorrow’s Serie A curtain raiser against Fiorentina: “Every team begins on zero points, so getting off to the best possible start is fundamental”

    Massimiliano Allegri says making a strong start to the season is imperative if the Bianconeri are to enjoy a stellar campaign in all four competitions.

    While excitement levels among the club’s fans are understandably high following some excellent transfer business over the summer, Allegri was keen to point out the merits of a humble approach when previewing tomorrow’s Serie A curtain raiser against Fiorentina with the media in Vinovo.

    Speaking to reporters this lunchtime, he began: “The fact we’ve brought in some great players doesn’t mean we’ve won the title by default. To win the Scudetto you need to have earned it on the pitch, with the same applying for the Champions League. Let’s take one step at a time.

    “Our main aim is to head into March still fighting on all three fronts – Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia. What we mustn’t forget though is that every team begins on zero points, so getting off to the best possible start is fundamental.”

    Representing the first hurdle in the Bianconeri’s title defence are Paulo Sousa’s Viola, an outfit known for their positive introductions to Serie A seasons.

    “Fiorentina are a fine, skillful side and the stats show that they always begin the season strongly. They’ve kept the same group of players together from the last campaign, so will have the edge on us from that point of view.”

    Overcoming an established, well-drilled team at this stage of the season will require plenty of character in the eyes of Allegri, who believes patience will also be an important virtue as his new-look side seeks to click into top gear as soon as possible.  

    “We’ve only been working together for 17 days, having reunited as a group on 2 August, and so we’ll require a bit of time before we’re firing on all cylinders. This is why strong character is required at this particular stage of the season, because every game is difficult when you’re starting out.”

    Allegri is expected to have a strong squad at his disposal for the visit of the Viola, with the fitness of Bosnian playmaker Miralem Pjanic the only serious question mark as far as team selection is concerned.

    “I’ll check on Pjanic today and tomorrow. Evra had only picked up a knock and he should be fit for Fiorentina. Higuain’s condition is improving, as I’m sure you saw at Villar Perosa, and Khedira is in great shape considering he’s only been back training with us for 15 days.” 

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