08.09.2016 17:00 - in: Serie A S

      Evra eyes up Sassuolo test

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      A key man in the aftermath of last October’s season-defining reverse to the Neroverdi, Patrice Evra outlines the lessons to be learnt for this Saturday’s showdown against Sassuolo

      The thought of Juventus locking horns with Sassuolo this Saturday could trigger any number of memories from matches against the Neroverdi last term, which provided some of the most definitive moments of the Bianconeri’s history-making season.

      More than likely to feature in any such thoughts is no other than Patrice Evra. One of the more experienced heads at Juventus, the Frenchman proved just what an important dressing-room figure he is arguably when it mattered most.

      The Old Lady’s away defeat to Sassuolo last October marked the lowest ebb of a campaign, in which they would eventually fight their way back from 12th place to top spot and surge to a fifth successive Scudetto title.

      A remarkable turnaround in fortunes, for which Evra’s post-match comments alongside captain Gianluigi Buffon on that sorry evening in Reggio Emilia undoubtedly acted as a crucial catalyst, helping to steer the Bianconeri ship back on course after an especially sluggish start to the season.

      Now looking ahead to this weekend’s encounter against the same opponents having lifted his second Scudetto crown with the club and determined to lay claim to a third this term, here are Evra’s standout quotes from this afternoon’s interview with Sky Sport and Mediaset.

      Lessons learnt from last season

      “This time around we hope that we won’t have to repeat what was said last year. That would mean that we’d have understood our mistakes and grown as a group even more than before.

      “Over the summer transfer window, the club’s management has done everything possible to improve this group and we’re happy about that. I don’t know if this is the strongest side I’ve ever played in. Our results at the end of the season will determine that.”

      New boys bedding in

      “We’ve welcomed all of the new boys into our dressing room with open arms. In general, they have immediately taken on board the fact that in signing for Juventus they’ve joined a truly tightly-knit group. It’s important that they perform well and stay composed. We’re here to give them a hand.

      “Here at Juventus we’re a family. We’re united in fighting for the same goal, but we’re also humble and put pride to one side in helping out the team. Everyone wants to be playing on the pitch, but the sheer amount of stars here is what makes it so wonderful to be a Bianconero.”

      Wary of Neroverdi

      “They’re a dangerous side, coached by a tremendous manager. Even if we know that we’re facing a difficult opponent, we need to bring home all three points.

      “We’re set on lifting a sixth Scudetto title. That’s our objective, but we need to take each game at a time.”

      Sevilla in sight

      “In terms of the Champions League, we’re focusing first on Sevilla and then the rest of our group games, after which the knockout stage fixtures come thick and fast. I held exactly this belief in my first year when we got to the final and I continue to believe the same now.”

      The Juve way

      “It’s not easy in Italy to go into games as favourites. Every opponent gives their absolute all, as, for them, beating Juventus is like winning a trophy. We’re ready for this particular challenge, however. In order to honour this shirt, you need to show at all times that you’re a true professional and a great man.”

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