Monday July 6 2020
Sarri: 'Higuain needs tough love'

Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri claims he only ever fights with Gonzalo Higuain, who ‘needs pampering one day and beating against a wall the next’.

Juve are seven points clear at the top of Serie A after they won and both Lazio and Inter lost in the last round of fixtures.

However, they are preparing to face a Milan side who they struggled against in the Coppa Italia and who remain unbeaten since the restart.

“Tomorrow’s a difficult game for us,” Sarri said at a press conference.

“Milan, who have already created problems for us this season, are in great physical and mental condition and are playing at high levels.

“At a time like this, the mental aspect is very delicate and mistakes are only around the corner. The lads know it’s going to be a tough month, so they can’t lose focus.

“Our lead at the top shouldn’t make us relax. We’re at a time when games are all difficult and messing one up is extremely easy.

“We’re just focusing on tomorrow’s game. We’re not even looking at who we’re facing next.

“I haven’t made any [personnel] decisions yet. We’ll see what happens, but the obvious solutions seem to be Rugani and Higuain.

“Everyone’s been talking about how big our squad is, but right now we don’t have that many options to choose from.

“Chiellini and Alex Sandro had their first proper training sessions yesterday. Higuain’s getting better. He’s training non-stop now and mentally he’s ready.”

Although the coach is known for his distant approach to man-management, he is particularly close to Higuain.

“I always read that I fight with everyone, when actually the only person I fight with is Higuain.

“I don’t know why that is, but it’s always been the case. Maybe it’s because he needs a rather aggressive counterpoint to bring out the best in him.

“Mentally he’s fine but physically I don’t know how much he can take because he’s been on and off lately.

“He needs pampering one day and beating against a wall the next! When he’s feeling down, he needs caring for. 

“When he’s on a high, he must be brought down a peg because he can get too carried away.”

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