Massimiliano Allegri

Allegri: We know Cagliari will be a tough test

Allegri: We know Cagliari will be a tough test
Allegri: We know Cagliari will be a tough test
Allegri: We know Cagliari will be a tough test

Looking ahead to Friday night's trip to Sardinia to face Cagliari, first-team Coach Massimiliano Allegri addressed the press on Thursday morning.

Below is what the boss had to say at his pre-Cagliari press conference.


“Of their eight wins this season, six have come at home, 23 of the 31 points they’ve got have been picked up at home. They’re a team who score a lot of goals in the last 15 minutes of games, and particularly with players who come off the bench, they have scored more goals with substitutes than anybody else. They’re fighting for survival and we’re fighting to qualify for the Champions League. We know it will be a tough game, so our very best version will have to show up.

“We won’t be rotating ahead of the Italian Cup [semi-final second leg against Lazio], the most important game is tomorrow’s, and then we’ll focus on the Cup. It would be a mistake to not focus on Cagliari, and a win in Sardinia would allow us to take a big step towards our goals.”


“I’ll decide on the day between [Federico] Chiesa and [Kenan] Yildiz. We have [Moise] Kean out and [Arkadiusz] Malik who is getting back to full fitness. If I threw them all in, I’d have no changes to make. You always have to be balanced in your selection choices. Every player who plays during a game can be decisive. I don’t have many doubts about the team tomorrow and everybody who will travel with the team is fit to appear. The only doubt in this respect is with [Wojciech] Szczesny because he’ll be available and he’ll travel, but we’ll assess tomorrow whether he’ll be able to play or not.”


“We’re only focused on the end of this season, there’s no point thinking about next season. It’s important to stay focused on the next month or so. We’re in the running for a place in the Champions League, and we have an Italian Cup final to aim towards reaching. We are focused on these goals. A win at this stage is almost worth double. In the league we have this away game, then matches against AC Milan, Roma and Bologna, another direct rival for Europe. We have a lot of difficult games to come.”


“People talk too much about the gap between Italian football and football overseas. I don’t think it’s right. Last year Inter reached the Champions League final, Roma got to the Europa League final and Fiorentina were in the Conference League final, so I don’t think the gap is all that big. Of course there are a lot of players outside of Italy with a lot of talent, that’s clear to anybody. From next year on, with the change of format, the Champions League will be a new competition completely.”


“Ranieri is a coach who has worked in football for a long time and has always left good memories behind him. It was brilliant that he managed to win the league in England with Leicester, but it would be reductive to look at his career by focusing on only that. He deserves a lot of credit for this season, for navigating through the situation that Cagliari have faced. At times it seemed impossible to think they would stay up. But beyond being a great coach, he’s a very intelligent person, he has a lot of common sense and he knows how to manage tough situations. Cagliari are having a good season under him.”

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