Massimiliano Allegri spoke to Jtv earlier today, looking ahead to what promises to be an exciting 2016/17 season for all associated with Juventus.
Here is the full transcript of his Q&A with the club channel:
JTV: Is hard work and enthusiasm the order of the day as training resumes?
“Enthusiasm is always important. It’s the start of a new season – we have lots of youngsters and just seven or eight first-team players, but we need to go into this month with lots of enthusiasm. This month is when we prepare for the season ahead.”
JTV: Does the schedule mean you can start 10 days early this year?
“It’s not a question of ten days early. The year before last we finished the season on 7 June after the Champions League final, so we gave the players 35 days off after such an intense season. This year we’re starting up again after 40 days, but last year it was 35 days and we kicked things off on 16 July, if I remember rightly, because we had the Super Cup to play 20 days later. That was an important objective and we achieved it. This year we have more time to prepare, though the international contingent will only arrive on 1 August, apart from [Mario] Mandzukic, Dani Alves and [Stephan] Lichtsteiner, who will be here from 26 July.”
JTV: Pre-season starts in Vinovo and then you have a number of high-profile matches lined up during the summer tour. Looking further ahead, can you win a sixth straight Scudetto?
“Winning the sixth Scudetto is our primary objective this season, as well as having a good Champions League campaign. And when I say a good Champions League campaign, I mean our objective needs to be to go as far as possible and win it. That said, we need to take it steady, work every day and lay the foundations for a great season between now and 31 August, when the campaign gets underway.”
JTV: The new arrivals have all been speaking about the Champions League. Is that the aim?
“It’s our objective alongside the league, the Coppa Italia and the Super Cup. We want to achieve these goals and we need to create the conditions to do that. You also need that bit of good fortune, particularly in the Champions League.”
JTV: Three quarters of the players in training right now are youngsters. Is this a chance for them to show what they can do, training alongside first-team players?
“This is a big chance for them. There are lots of young players and many of them are ready to go and play in the lower leagues: Serie B and Lega Pro. This will be an important experience for them, as will going out to play elsewhere.”
JTV: The international contingent will be back soon and that includes the Italian players. You must be looking forward to welcoming back our fantastic defence, which did itself proud against Germany.
“There’s no doubt about it: the Juventus defence and thus the Italy defence, plus [Gianluigi] Buffon, is the best in the world. They were always going to be up to the task – they showed that they’re in top form and produced a great performance.”
JTV: Have you seen the video of Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra saying that they beat Germany so they could have extra holiday?
“They asked for an extra week, but I was planning on giving them two! I’ll only give them one now.”