Juventus
    Juventus
      26.02.2017 18:30 - in: Coppa Italia S

      Chiellini: "Confidence, not complacency"

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      Giorgio Chiellini outlines the key ingredients for Juventus’ tilt for silverware over the coming months in Serie A, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia

      Big weekend in title race

      "This was a big weekend in the title race and one that, most importantly, saw us continue our good form of late. Beating the so-called “smaller” sides is not easy especially straight after a draining Champions League game.

      “We did what we had to do and let our quality shine through without playing extraordinarily and brought home a very important three points. Our upcoming away trips to Sampdoria and Udinese before the international break will be absolutely critical, more so than those against Napoli, Milan and Roma in the next couple of months."

       

      Crunch time in the cups

      “We know that this is crunch time. Between now and 20 March, we will learn a lot about our chances for silverware in the league, Champions League and Coppa Italia.

      "We’re among the frontrunners in every competition and it would be a blow for us to miss out on any one of them especially given the form and quality of our squad at the moment."

       

      Bonucci? Back to business

      “Leo has had a tougher week than he is used to but these things happen. He returned in a way that we all knew he would yesterday and demonstrated what a great professional he is.

      "At the end of the day, the most important aspect isn’t Chiellini, it isn’t Buffon, or one single person; it’s the team. Leo has always been one to put the good of the team before his own and he produced a brilliant performance on Saturday.

      "We’re a group of 25 footballers but we’re also a family. We tackle problems head on when we need to and it makes for a great atmosphere to work in. We deal in results."

      Strength and depth

      "If you take the 11 that started the game against Empoli and then compare them with the 11 on the bench, you’ve got two ‘teams’ there of the highest level.

      "It can be tough leaving certain guys out especially in a period like this in which everyone is playing their part. We’re lucky to have options in every position on the field and it’s that strength, depth and variety that wins you the big matches towards the end of the season.

      "All we can do is focus on winning each game as it comes. There’s a balance to be struck between being confident in our own abilities and assuming that you can just turn up and win. If you really believe that you’re good enough to compete with the continent’s best then it’s up to you to prove it on the field and deliver in the key moments."

      Consistency and focus

      "I would never have imagined that I would see Barcelona losing 4-0, but so many factors go into results at this level and timing and momentum are everything. With the quarter-finals in April and the semi-finals in May, all it takes is one injury or one collective dip in intensity to throw your plans off course."

       

      Napoli

      “We’ve been going to toe to toe with Napoli for a long time now and we’re in for a really competitive and intriguing semi-final, regardless of their result last night which – with all credit to Atalanta – was a shock to the system.

      "There will be a reaction from Napoli and they will be more driven than ever to reach the final at our expense. Whoever makes the starting eleven will need to be organized and committed; when you face a team that is as good in possession in Napoli, that is the minimum requirement.

      "They are a team with a lot of strengths but also a few hidden weaknesses. It’s up to us find them and exploit them as much as possible over both legs."

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