05.02.2016 17:00 - in: Serie A S

      Juan rallies the troops for Frosinone

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      The Colombian warns that next week’s top of the table clash with Napoli will lose its value should the Bianconeri fail to defeat Frosinone this Sunday

      Rarely without a smile on his face and always a proponent of enjoying the game whatever the circumstances, there is no doubting the infectious nature of a character like Juan Cuadrado.

      While the Colombian’s samba-style dribbling and all-action performances have provided crucial goals at crucial moments already this season, the wing wizard has also been taking something away from his team-mates since joining on loan from Chelsea in the summer: an unrelenting desire to win.

      Sitting down with Sky and Mediaset this afternoon, Cuadrado was typically quick to point out that a 13-match winning streak and the possibility of dealing a critical blow to title rivals Napoli next weekend will mean nothing if the Bianconeri fail to get a result at third-bottom Frosinone on Sunday.

      “Undoubtedly our meeting with Napoli will be huge and possibly decisive for the title race but, at the same time, it will lose most of its value if we don’t beat Frosinone,” he began. 

      “These are exactly the kind of games that can trip you up. For that reason, we’ll need to approach it with the same desire and will to win that we have shown in the last two months or so.

      “We weren’t at our best against Genoa but that can happen when you are playing every three days. The important thing is that we won and kept our focus.

      “Both we and Napoli are in excellent form but the fact is that they are still ahead of us. It’s up to us to catch them and we will only do that by remaining calm and by concentrating on our own results. Like I said, we only have eyes for Frosinone at the moment.”

      Well, Frosinone and partially Bayern Munich…

      “Bayern are a fantastic side but I have no doubt that we are more than good enough to push them all the way and to put in two strong performances at home and away.” 

      Key to the champions’ recent form has been then strength and depth of their squad, with Juan representing one of many squad members to have delivered the goods at the perfect moments when called upon.

      Traditionally a flying winger, the deployment of the South American as a wing-back has seen him add defensive solidity to his already well-known and much-loved attacking flair.

      “The role I am playing at the moment requires great concentration particularly from a defensive point of view. I always look to prepare myself as best I can in training and to always give my all for the team.

      “In such a testing run of fixtures it’s vital that everyone in the squad shows what they can do when called upon. You can see that we have been doing that in recent months: quite simply, we are a team.”

      As many before him have noted, Juventus are much more than a tight-knit group, particularly the current young and energetic vintage of Bianconeri.

      “The fact that we all get along so well on and off the field, knuckling down when we need to while also joking around and enjoying each other’s company when the time is right, shows that we are a family. I’m delighted to be here, I feel good and my family is very happy in Turin.”  

      On the subject of team spirit and camaraderie, a final word on South American team-mate Martin Caceres – who successfully underwent surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon on Thursday – was inevitable. For Juan and indeed the rest of the Juve squad, the Uruguayan’s presence in the run-in will be sorely missed.

      “I’ve chatted with Martin and wished him a speedy recovery,” he concluded. “He’s a great guy, even after his injury he has kept his head up so well. Taking a blow like that in his stride, we could all learn something from that.”


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