NEWS
Friday March 8 2019
Allegri: 'Options for Atletico Madrid'

Max Allegri celebrated the 4-1 victory over Udinese, but “it’ll be a very different game” against Atletico Madrid and he confirmed Mattia De Sciglio is out.

Moise Kean bagged a brace this evening, with Blaise Matuidi and an Emre Can penalty also on target.

“The lads did well today, but I had no doubts they would. We still need five victories to win the title, regardless of what Napoli do, and are in a strong position.

“The results have been extraordinary, we need to go all the way and try to win one or two trophies,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We need to improve individually in our touch, playing more vertical balls, but these are young players and can certainly grow with time and experience.

“Kean is very good when it comes to running at the goal and finishing, but needs to improve his movement and choices, but that’s inevitable for a kid who was born in 2000.

“It’s going to be completely different against Atletico Madrid, we need to be sharper, quicker and move the ball much faster.”

Andrea Barzagli made his comeback after four months out, but limped off again within 25 minutes. Does this change Allegri’s plans for the Atletico Madrid game?

“It’s unlikely Martin Caceres could play as a forward-thinking full-back. I have a few options, we’ll see what happens. The game can last up to 120 minutes, so we need to keep the options open and look at the big picture.

“Douglas Costa should be available on Tuesday, but it’s unlikely De Sciglio will be ready to play. We have to do very well in the final third, where Atleti are going to try to keep it very tight. We’ve got to provide width, try to spread them out and above all be alert on the second ball.

“The more I’m in the mix, the better I like it. I prefer having to reinvent things and reshuffle players, otherwise it gets boring… Besides, they lost Filipe Luis and we lost De Sciglio, so a full-back each and fair’s fair.”

If Juve go out of the Champions League at the Round of 16 again, does he fear this would change the rapport between the Coach and fans?

“Juventus were always in the running for the Champions League during my time here. When I arrived, there was a great deal of scepticism not just towards me, but the team and club.

“In my time, we always at least reached the last 16, got to the Final twice and were eliminated only by the eventual winners.

“It’s not that simple. Bayern Munich took 10 years to win the Champions League, while Chelsea only won it when they didn’t deserve to, as they were pinned back for most of that Final.

“In my view, it’s wrong to see it negatively, because I think we’ve done a great job here. It’s true every story has to come to an end, but we’re heading for an eighth consecutive Scudetto and won the Italian Super Cup.

“I think expectations have been raised far too much and it’s become an obsession. Playing in the Champions League ought to be a pleasure and a joy.

“It’s a different tournament to the others, as if a ball bounces badly, you don’t have time to recover, you’re already out.”

The questions keep coming about Allegri’s future and reports he’ll leave this summer, regardless of the Champions League results.

“I left after four years at Milan, this is my fifth year at Juventus and I hope to continue. We’ll see. The important thing is the work we did.”

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