Having scored a crucial equalising goal from the penalty spot in Seville just over two weeks ago, Claudio Marchisio has called on the Bianconeri to now round off their Champions League Group H campaign in style on home turf tomorrow night against Dinamo Zagreb and qualify as group winners.
With Wednesday’s tie representing just one obstacle in a “very important month”, focus was the key word for the midfielder as he met the media in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference at Juventus Stadium.
And, with the wind firmly back in their sails after convincingly defeating Atalanta last weekend, Marchisio expects his team-mates to keep up their winning momentum right into the new year with a Serie A advantage to maintain and a Super Cup trophy to lift in Qatar.
“December is undoubtedly going to be a very important month for us and by defeating Atalanta at the weekend, we’ve made the best possible start already.
"The key for us now is to carry that positivity into the crucial games that now lie ahead; in Serie A, we’ve got a significant lead at the top of the table to either maintain or extend and of course there’s a trophy to be won at the end in Qatar. With that in mind, it’s imperative that, from now until then, we remain absolutely focused.”
“I’m delighted that I’ve been able to rebuild a bit of momentum by by training every day and I’m satisfied with how things have gone since returning to the first team setup. Naturally, getting back to my pre-injury levels of fitness will take time and patience.”
All eyes on top spot
“Regardless of who finishes where in the other groups, our primary goal is to make sure that we win well tomorrow and qualify for the last 16 in first place; once we've done that we can start thinking about who we might meet next.
“On paper, the most straightforward fixture of our run to the final two years ago was against Monaco yet the opposite was the case on the field.
“Once you reach the latter stages of this competition you have to expect that the teams you face will be of the highest quality; what matters is not the identity of your opponents but rather your own form and condition.”
Will to win unchanged
“Our approach to the Genoa game was completely wrong. Luckily we have bounced back and provided an immediate response both in training and here against Atalanta at the weekend.
“When you’re successful for five seasons in a row it’s normal that the squad should come under scrutiny after a defeat but our desire to win remains as strong as ever."