Sunday February 21 2021
Pirlo: ‘I’m not worried, Ronaldo improving his free kicks’

Andrea Pirlo insists he is ‘not worried’ despite Juventus suffering two defeats in a row and claims Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘improving his free kicks.’

The Old Lady lost to Napoli and Porto and face Crotone at the Allianz Stadium tomorrow.

“It’s an important game to continue our path in the title race. It’s going to be a tough game because Crotone are not going through a good moment, but they play well,” the coach said at a press conference.

“They’ve kept their philosophy and they are trying to impose themselves in every game, they are showing interesting things.”

The former midfielder is dealing with many injured players.

“Dybala is not available yet. He still feels pain at his knee, unfortunately he is not improving. He still has problems, so we have to wait a little bit more. Ramsey is available and it’s good news.

“Bentancur is feeling better, he had a slight physical problem this week, but I think he will be available tomorrow.

“We miss Arthur, he is the only midfielder with different characteristics, but we have many options to replace him: Ramsey, Bentancur and Fagioli.

“They can adapt to our system, but they don’t have the same characteristics of Arthur. We’ll try to find the best solution tomorrow.”

“Arthur must be assessed day by day. He feels pain and for now he can’t play, there isn’t a recovery time settled, he can’t play until he feels pain.

“McKennie is also not 100% fit, he has a hip problem, but he is a rock and he grits his teeth because we haven’t got many players available.

“Morata is feeling a little bit better, he had a stomach flu, so he wasn’t 100% fit. He is feeling a little bit better now, we hope he will be available tomorrow.”

Rodrigo Bentancur has been heavily criticised after a mistake against Porto that cost Juve a goal.

“Of course he was disappointed for what happened in Porto. We must look ahead, I told him that it happens to make mistakes, but a game doesn’t end because of an error, we had a whole game to play.”

Is Pirlo worried about Juventus’ results of late?

“I speak with the President after every game. We spoke after the game at Porto and he didn’t intervene this week. We knew we had played a bad game, there was no reason for him to reproach the lads.

“I raised my voice during the half time break in Porto, I didn’t like how we played and I didn’t like the reaction.

“We switched off at the beginning of the second half and we’ve been analysing the mistakes this week. There’s no reason to raise your voice when you know you didn’t do well. The players must transform their disappointment in energy for tomorrow’s game.

“I am not worried, we had won 11 games out of 13. It was normal to have a drop, unfortunately we had it in a decisive moment after many games.

“It’s normal not to be always focused when you play 15 games in 40 days, it’s like we played half season in one month and a half. We knew it would have been an intense season, we are here and we must fight for our targets.”

Is he working with Cristiano Ronaldo trying to get more free kick goals?

“Free-kick goals are important, they can decide games, especially against teams that sit deep.

“Ronaldo is training well and is improving. He is more serene and he is convinced he is soon going to score from a free kick.”