Saturday July 25 2020
Sarri: 'Prefer to lose when trying to win'

Maurizio Sarri admits he’d rather lose to Udinese by attacking too fervently rather than passively accept a draw, as Juventus host Sampdoria. ‘I prefer that.’

It kicks off on Sunday at 20.45 UK time (19.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

The Bianconeri could’ve already been Champions of Italy midweek, but they fumbled yet another lead and lost 2-1 away to Udinese.

“We want to achieve our objective without losing our heads. We’ve got until August 2 to reach our goal and, as I’ve always said, getting close to it counts for absolutely nothing,” said the coach in his press conference.

“Fitness work is all the same for teams at the moment, which is non-existent, because we play every 72 hours. It’s impossible to do anything in these conditions.

“We lost our shape and organisation in Udine, but the positive aspect is we did that because we were trying so hard to win. I prefer that as a reason to lose rather than being passive, which is what we experienced a few other times. I like that desire to win, but we weren’t perfect in the execution.

“This is an atypical situation, nobody had ever played for the league title in July. Having said that, we can and must be far more solid. There are some blackouts lately, but the Udinese one wasn’t complacency, it was trying too hard.

“Sampdoria have found their shape and can remain organised for most of a match. It’s no coincidence they’ve won five of their last nine games. They are tough to beat, but we have an objective in our minds and nobody must be more motivated than we are.

“It’s about finding the right balance, reading the various moments of the match. I do like always going forward, but you have to read the situation too. I am not going to deny I prefer the all-attack mentality, though.

“This is the most difficult season in Italian football history. If we look at the tables, they have been turned since the lockdown too. Faced with evident difficulties, I think the team has done well.”

Sarri laughed off the suggestion that he is tactically fixed in his ways.

“Of course I have to adapt to the characteristics of the players, otherwise I’d just be training myself…”

Douglas Costa is out for at least two weeks with yet another thigh strain.

“Juve have had a lot of injuries over the past few years, not just since I got here,” added Sarri when asked about the pile-up of absentees.

“There have also been traumatic injuries such as sprains and you can’t do much to avoid those. It’s the typical situation for any team that plays this many games, so nothing to make a drama about.

“The same goes for Miralem Pjanic, as he played 46 matches this season. We made some different choices lately because we were up against very physical opponents and Pjanic was struggling a little with his fitness, but he’ll be back training with the full squad today.

“Gonzalo Higuain trained yesterday, he’ll gradually try again today. Mattia De Sciglio should be back in with the squad next week. We’ve got the coverage, it’s not a crisis.”

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