27.01.2017 17:30 - in: Serie A S

      Mandzukic: “Helping the team makes me happy”

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      “I believe that if I’m giving everything out on the pitch, then my team-mates watching me will be spurred on to do the same”

      In recent months, there’s been no such thing as a match at Juventus Stadium without the fans chanting out loud the name ‘Mario Mandzukic’ and repeating it several times over!

      Who could blame them either when you’re witnessing a man who covers quite literally every blade of grass and is always prepared to put his body on the line when the team needs him most.

      Never one to shy away from a battle, Super Mario pulled out all the stops too in today’s interview with Sky and Mediaset.

      Here’s what he had to say…

      A satisfying season so far 

      “Everything's been going really well so far. We're top of the league in Italy, through to the next round in the Champions League and now in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, so I'm happy with how things are going.

      “That said, there's a long way still to go and we have to keep up the good work because we haven't achieved anything yet and we can play even better than we already are doing.

      “If we do that, we can achieve the goals we've set ourselves.”

      Bianconeri’s ‘bounce back’ ability 

      “Juventus are a big club and of course everyone expects us to win every game, besides always playing brilliantly, but we know that's not always possible. If we’ve our critics, we shouldn’t ever be worried about them. We just have to do our jobs on the pitch.

      “When we do lose, we know how to pick ourselves up again in the next game, as we’ve shown several times before and we'll keep doing it.”

      Pleased with new position 

      “The new formation has been working really well so far. We’ve plenty of quality going forwards and we’re a compact unit when we defend, so I do think that this is an excellent system for us.

      “I’m really enjoying my new role and I'm happy to play there if it helps the team. If the coach asks me to cover in midfield or down the left because he thinks I can be of assistance there, then I’m just as motivated to put in a thorough shift.

      “I believe that if I’m giving everything out on the pitch, whether it’s a sprint or a slide tackle or anything of that nature, then my team-mates watching me will be spurred on to do the same. I know that I can be a positive role model to them and that’s what I set out to do in each match.

      “That's the way I've always played since I was young. It's got me where I am today and it's brought me a lot of success, so I'll carry on doing it.”

      “You have to fight for these fans”

      “I feel the fans' support in every game – they're incredible. When I hear them cheering us on, it makes me want to run and pull out all the stops.

      “If you've got fans like that behind you, you have to run and fight.” 

      Sassuolo game significant

      “I remember that defeat well. We weren’t enjoying a good moment at all going into last season’s game at Sassuolo and we played badly.

      “That was undoubtedly the turning point in our campaign, as a lot of things changed after that and we started to play as we know how to.

      “This year we’re going well and, if we play like we did against Lazio and Milan, I’m sure that we can pick up three important points.”

      Dybala a Joya to watch 

      “I like scoring goals, but if I can set up a team-mate, I'm just as happy as if I'd found the net myself.

      "I'm happy Paulo (Dybala) is over his injury and that he's in great form.

      “He has to keep it up, then maybe he can set me up for a goal next time!” 

      Mario and Massimiliano 

      “There's mutual respect between me and Massimiliano (Allegri). He wanted me here, he trusts me and expects a lot from me – I can see that. I just try to do my best to repay his faith in me.”

      A pleasure knowing Patrice

      “I'm happy I got the chance to meet such a fantastic guy and a fantastic player as Patrice (Evra). It's always a pity when someone like that moves on, but I think he's happy.

      “I wish him all the best and of course we'll miss him.”

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