Friday March 29 2019
Allegri: Caution over Ronaldo

Juventus boss Max Allegri says ‘caution’ is needed with Cristiano Ronaldo as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Juve will be without Ronaldo for their Serie A match against Empoli on Saturday, but Allegri is confident Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi will step up to the plate in the Portuguese’s absence.

“He had the day off,” replied the Coach when asked about the No 7’s day in Barcelona.

“Anyway he’s fine, he’s started moving again but caution is needed because we’re in a delicate part of the season.

“It’s better that he misses a game. He’ll return when he’s at his best and there’s no longer danger of a relapse.

“Kean must go step by step. He’s a 19-year-old boy, my concern is how he goes on from here, like with all young players.

“He needs to stay calm. It’s clear that he has the qualities of a goalscorer, but we have to let him take his normal path and let him grow. My job is to protect him.

“All our players have recovered from their international commitments, and we still have a day to go.

“Tomorrow we’ll all be in excellent physical condition, but the one that will make the difference is our mental condition.

“We must get closer to our objective of the title. Cristiano will have tests on Monday and so will Douglas Costa so they can get back fully for the Champions League.

“De Sciglio is available, Cuadrado will be available in about 10 days. As for Khedira, we’ll see next week.

“Bonucci will rest tomorrow. In attack it’s likely that Dybala, Mandzukic and Bernardeschi will play.

“The mental risk is due to the break, which is a bit of a thorn for us, plus the fact that a 15-point lead can distract us.

“Still, we were all angry about losing at Genoa. Tomorrow we need to put in a solid performance.

“We need to put in a serious performance, with great respect for our opponents, and win: I demand my team to be tough.

“We didn’t have the right ruthlessness in our game against Genoa, which would’ve been enough to overturn the result.

“We need five victories: let’s start tomorrow. The game is very important, we have so many challenges from now until April 22, five in the League and two in the Champions League.

“Finding ourselves in a vortex like the one we’re in only lasts for a second, so we mustn’t pull the plug now, thinking we’ve already won the League.

Allegri was then asked about Daniele Rugani’s new contract, Paulo Dybala’s role in the team and the Bianconeri’s upcoming clash with Milan.

“Rugani is a responsible lad and has grown a lot: the club did well to renew his contract,” he added.

“I talked to Dybala and he knows he’s important for us. He’ll have a great end to the season.

“We’ll only play Milan when we’re told to do so.”

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