02.02.2018 16:30 - in: Serie A S

      Lichtsteiner looks ahead

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      The "Swiss Express" looks ahead to the battles ahead for the Bianconeri

      "I'm happy because I've worked hard and I've never given up," said a happy Stephen Lichtsteiner today. "The Swiss Express" is back in the UEFA Champions League squad list presented by Juventus yesterday for the knockout phases. 

      "At the beginning of the season, I knew that the coach would have to make a choice," explained Lichtsteiner to the Sky and Mediaset microphones. "I knew that I would be able to handle the situation like last year. I have a great relationship with my manager and there has never been any problem, though obviously I missed playing in Europe.

      It wasn't easy to go to the stadium and hear the Champions League anthem without taking the field. Now I'm ready to come back and we all hope the journey is as long as last year but with a different ending."


      Juventus will battle Tottenham with the first leg less than two weeks away at Allianz Stadium

      "In the Champions League, there are many strong teams but we have to be careful of our next opponent. We saw the other night against Manchester United what they are capable of. I saw a very strong team, both technically and physically, that is good on the ball and good at pressuring."

      However, the most pressing issue is Serie A and Lichtsteiner's squad hosts Sassuolo on Sunday afternoon at the Allianz Stadium looking to keep the pressure on a Napoli squad that is currently a point ahead of the Bianconeri. 

      "Our goal is a seventh Scudetto. It would be an extraordinary achievement, but we still have plenty of work left to do it. I don't care about personal records, the most important thing is that the team wins and takes home titles, continuing our winning path of the last six years."


      Recently, the two squads have lengthened the gap between them and the rest of the league with ten points between Juventus and third-placed Inter. 

      "I think the championship is now a two-way race between us and [Napoli], though we must never underestimate anyone. The most important thing is that we keep winning and piling the pressure on, then we'll see if our match towards the end of the season will be decisive," said Lichtsteiner.

      "Playing first or second [in the matchday] doesn't change much. If you get your result, you put pressure on the opponent while if you know the other team's result you can react accordingly. There's not a big difference." 


      With key players out recently due to injury, the Bianconeri haven't missed a beat continuing the winning streak that currently stands at nine matches. 

      "This team has great quality across the board and a big squad with many strong players on the bench as well," said Lichtsteiner. "When someone is out, there's always someone else ready to replace them with excellent performances. This is one of our strengths."

      Exactly a year ago, Lichtsteiner renewed his contract through the end of the 2017/18 season so what's next for the Swiss Express? 

      "We haven't talked about the future yet. Right now I'm only focused on the next few months both in Italy and Europe, then we'll see what happens next."

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