Juventus
    19.03.2017 18:57 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri says win is a “step forward”

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    The Juve coach was full of praise for his side’s first-half showing, which he ranks as one of the best he’s seen this season

    After picking up a precious three points at the Marassi, Massimiliano Allegri described the win as “an important step forward” for his Juve team.

    The coach was happy with the result but was less impressed with how the side performed in the second half. He described Juve’s first-half display as “one of the best of the season”, but added that “in the second half we lost a bit of focus and they hit us a few times on the counter, when we could have just stayed tight and organised, so as not to risk anything.”

    “Sometimes you just need to make sure your opponent can’t get in behind, but today that happened,” he said.

    “We also committed very few fouls, like in the game against Milan, when they fouled us 21 times and we… Every now and again you need to commit fouls. We could have held onto the ball better and been more ruthless.”

    Commenting on the injury to Paulo Dybala, who was forced off after just half-an-hour, Allegri was quick to allay concerns: “It shouldn’t be anything to worry about; he felt his flexor muscle getting a bit tight.”

    As for the impact of the change, he said: “Nobody has his same characteristics. I didn’t want to mess up our balance and move [Miralem] Pjanic, so I brought [Marko] Pjaca on. He’s got great quality, but needs to develop.”

    The Bianconeri went about their task with a degree of maturity, approaching the game in the right way. The team showed no indication of being distracted by the draw for the Champions League quarter final, which saw Juventus drawn against Barcelona.

    “Playing games like this – it should be natural for us. We could go through or be eliminated, but games like this are not out of the ordinary for Juventus,” he said.

    “First of all, however, we have two matches against Napoli and Chievo.”

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