Juventus
    Juventus
      26.02.2017 00:16 - in: Serie A S

      Allegri: “A long way to go yet”

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      The boss's verdict after Saturday's defeat of Empoli: "We've won nothing at the moment. The lads did well to keep things tidy out there and up the tempo after the break"

      Juventus may have picked up another three points and another clean sheet against Empoli but Massimilano Allegri is adamant the title race is not over yet.

      Saturday's 2-0 success at Juventus Stadium further strengthened the Bianconeri's position at the Serie A summit on what could prove to be a pivotal weekend, with Napoli losing at home to Atalanta and Roma due to play Inter on Sunday night.

      But the boss feels there's still much work to be done before any celebrations can be had.

      “We've won nothing at the moment. There's a long way to go and we have to focus on ourselves, not what the others are doing.

      “We're out in front so it's in our own hands. We've earned another three points today but we have to win lots more games before we can say the title is ours. We need to keep our feet on the ground and take things one step at a time.”

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      “It was a good performance and we read the game well tonight. We came into this match on the back of a big result in the Champions League, a competition which always takes a lot out of you mentally and physically, but the lads went out there and kept things nice and tidy.

      “It's never easy to face Empoli because they shift the ball around well. We were unable to find a breakthrough in the first half despite the chances we had.

      “They started to wane a little after the break, we upped the tempo and got the two goals to secure a great win.

      “It's just a shame we conceded that goal against Palermo, otherwise we'd have gone seven games without conceding.”

      Strength in depth at the back

      “I'm happy with all my players. I have five centre-backs and I have to make choices. I have confidence in all of them and as long as they're in this sort of form it's easy for me to rotate them.

      "[Leo] Bonucci came back in tonight and played well so I'm very happy.” 

      Marchisio's fitness

      “Claudio is still finding his rhythm again after recovering from a ruptured cruciate ligament. I've said this before but it can take a player up to a year to get back to his best again after an injury like that.

      “Marchisio is improving, he's getting minutes under his belt and that's good for him but he needs to keep building his fitness up so that he's comfortable even when the tempo is raised.”

      Attacking options

      “[Mario] Mandzukic offers power and technique and he's very important for us on set-pieces. He played well today.

      [Paulo] Dybala has played lots of games recently so I chose to rest him and bring in some fresh legs in the shape of [Stefano] Sturaro. Paulo did well when he came on.”

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      “Marko offers me something different to [Juan] Cuadrado, especially when he comes off the bench. He's young and we have to give him time to develop gradually. I preferred to start with him on the bench today. He only got a few minutes but he showed the right attitude when he came on – both going forward and defensively.”

      Caldara double downs Napoli

      “Mattia Caldara is already a very good player and after working with [Gian Piero] Gasperini at Atalanta, he'll be an even better player by the time he joins Juventus.”

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