Massimiliano Allegri has called on the Bianconeri to pick up where they left off from the previous calendar year by extending their winning streak when Hellas Verona travel to Juventus Stadium for the opening game of 2016 on Wednesday afternoon.
Seven straight Serie A successes saw Juventus enter the festive season with plenty of cheer, prompting the boss to warn of the perils of suffering a New Year hangover against tomorrow’s relegation-threatened visitors.
Speaking to the media in Vinovo, Allegri began: “We must approach the game in the right way, especially from a psychological point of view, as switching back on is always hardest after being away. The boys needed some time off but have come back fired up and trained well all week.
“Verona go into the encounter off the back of two decent performances and possess two strikers in Luca Toni and Giampaolo Pazzini who we mustn’t allow into our box. We’ve dropped too many points against so-called ‘smaller’ teams, we can’t allow ourselves to put a foot wrong from here on in.”
With the margin for error getting smaller as the games go by, the Tuscan tactician says his troops, who have climbed to within three points of top spot, will have to be on their toes as they plan their attack on current leaders Inter.
"We’ve immediately got a tough away trip to Genoa where we’ll face Sampdoria on Sunday and, seeing as we’re in the hunt for three competitions, we’ll require full focus from all of our players.
"As of tomorrow the downhill stretch of the season begins – the second half of the term where the team that makes the least mistakes has the best chance of winning."
Allegri maintains there will be plenty more twists and turns before Scudetto honours are handed out in May and believes fitness will play a crucial part when the title race enters its final straight.
“I think the league will be decided in the final six games of the season, with the winners ending up on around 82 points. I want the team to reach that stage of the campaign in the best possible physical shape, that’s why we’ve been working hard on conditioning over the past few days.”