11 January 2016
Nine wins in a row, climbing just as many places in the Serie A table since October, Juventus are on the march. While few would have predicted the Bianconeri’s slow start, even fewer would have foreseen their remarkable rise to within two points of leaders Napoli by the season’s midway point.
Reflecting on tonight’s 2-1 victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris against in-form Sampdoria and his side’s magnificent recent form, Tuscan tactician Massimiliano Allegri was quick to credit the efforts of his players but equally keen to stress that there is still room for improvement for the reigning champions.
“Achieving nine straight league victories is no mean feat,” he began. “We believed that we could turn things around because we just simply had to improve and now you’re seeing completely different players from the ones you saw at the start of the season.
“When individually the guys start growing, the team as a whole will follow suit. As for tonight’s game, we should have closed the game out instead of letting them back into it, however good (Antonio) Cassano’s finish was. Credit to him, he was excellent throughout.”
Moving on to the qualities of his own squad, a goal apiece for Paul Pogba and Sami Khedira and a solid return to action for Hernanes deputising for the suspended Claudio Marchisio ensured Allegri would reserve special praise for his midfield trio, paying particular homage to the Brazilian’s promising showing in front of the back four.
“If (Hernanes) continues to improve in that position in front of the defence then he will be a very important player for us and I thought he was very good both offensively and defensively tonight. I’m pleased with the performance of the whole team even if we didn’t control the game as we should have done.
“Pogba and Khedira are excellent at breaking the lines and bursting into the box and with (Alvaro) Morata and (Paulo) Dybala making great runs in front of them, we are always going to create chances and find space in the final third. The more fluid they become together the better we will be.”
If his men are to produce a tenth triumph on the spin away at Udinese next week and to reach their very best however, there is work still to be done in the eyes of the boss.
“In future we need to manage the game slightly better and not try and force the play when we don’t need to. Overall though, I’m happy with the way the boys performed.”