Giorgio Chiellini touched on a number of topics when speaking to the press at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League encounter against Sporting CP (20.45 CEST).
Chiellini: "Our team will respond in the best way"
FOCUSED ON MOVING FORWARDS
“There are small things that need to be changed and we need to adapt and adjust which takes time. We have two points less than last year [at this time] but basically have done the same so we have to stay calm and not be too nervous because if you are too nervous it doesn’t lead to results. Saying that, we must be aware that we need to improve and give more. I’m convinced that tomorrow our team will respond in the best way as we have always done.
"Obviously right after the last match, we were very disappointed because we had not lost for a very long time at home and we wanted to keep that undefeated home record but the ingredients are those I’ve mentioned before and there’s nothing more to be done than that. Obviously, we need to have a very strong will and search for the win in a more determined way and everything will fall into place as a result.”
SIGHTS ON SPORTING
“Tomorrow is a different kind of match and a challenge that will have to be played with great determination because to qualify for the last 16, it becomes a two-match series with Sporting, since Barcelona will probably be the leader unless Olympiacos spring a surprise. We will play against a very good team that has strengthened a lot and a coach that brings some bad memories for us – he managed Benfica in our 2014 Europa League semi-final defeat – so we will be very determined to get the win tomorrow.
"Sporting is certainly a team that has made tremendous progress compared to last year. They’ve acquired some very good players and have a very good coach. They’re a technically gifted side and always up for the fight. Certainly, they’re the strongest team from their pot, so we respect them a lot and understand it will also be very difficult for us to play in a stadium with such a strong atmosphere like in Lisbon, but right now we have to think about tomorrow’s match and getting three points is very important for our bid to reach the Champions League last 16.”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE VS. SERIE A
“Juventus has always held great importance for the Italian championship, keeping in mind that you can only reach good results in the Champions League if you play well in your domestic league. [UCL] is a separate competition, which is important to qualify for. It’s 13 matches against 38, so you can’t really make a comparison. The experience is different, what you need to win is different, and you must be ready to go from day one in the Champions League while Serie A is a more gradual growth step by step.”
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