Maurizio Sarri felt Juventus ought to be pleased with a draw against Fiorentina, because amid injuries “a team with less personality would’ve lost.”
The Coach made his first competitive appearance on the touchline after recovering from pneumonia, as he watched their wins over Parma and Napoli from afar.
“We didn’t put in a good quality performance, it was a very complicated situation, as Fiorentina played well and we used up all our substitutions with injuries and had no more fresh legs to introduce,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia after a 0-0 draw.
“With all those variables, we did well in terms of character to get a point out of it. We lost possession too many times, which may also be a consequence of physical issues. Playing in mid-afternoon in Florence when it’s realistically still summer is tough for everyone.”
Will Douglas Costa, Miralem Pjanic and Danilo be ready to face Atletico Madrid after they all limped off in Florence?
“Douglas Costa seems a slightly worse injury. Pjanic had a knock to the muscle during the week and it kept irritating him today, so we need more tests tomorrow.
“When the team defends deeper, we need the forwards to come back and help more. We had difficulty on a purely technical level and I am confident a team with less personality would’ve lost. That is the positive and certainly a valuable quality to have a team that can fight it out for a point even when not in great shape.
“It was evident after 30 minutes that this was going to be extremely difficult.”
Blaise Matuidi was again picked instead of summer signing Adrien Rabiot and Sarri explained the complex fitness jigsaw puzzle he is putting together.
“Rabiot is a player of great quality, but he hasn’t played a single competitive game in 2019. He arrived with such determination and sharpness, but when you haven’t played for months, there’s going to be a physical blowback from that. He is a very sensitive guy and so that physical reaction was something he also suffered with psychologically.
“We had five players at the Copa America and eight on the treatment table, so we have half the squad at a more advanced fitness level than the rest. It was a difficult situation to deal with and we needed some time to get them all in to acceptable levels, but the good news is that we tend to finish games strong.
“We’re therefore lacking some sharpness, but the stamina remains.”
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