Wednesday April 2 2014
Marchisio: 'Critics too hard on Juve'

Claudio Marchisio hit back at Juventus critics ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Lyon in the Europa League.

The first leg of the quarter-final kicks off on Thursday at 20.05 UK time (19.05 GMT) at the Stade de Gerlande.

“We put in a bad performance against Napoli and didn’t step on to the field with the right mentality,” said the midfielder in his Press conference.

That 2-0 result at the San Paolo on Sunday was their first Serie A defeat since October, ending a run of 20 wins and two draws.

“The good news is we have the chance to make up for that in Europe. It is a game that means a huge amount to us, as we know how important it is to get a good result in the away leg.

“We need to get straight back on track, the same path we’ve been on since the start of the season, looking to fix what went wrong against Napoli and put in a great performance.

“To be honest, I have been struck by the wave of pessimism that followed the Napoli game. I read an article this week that said this tyranny of Juventus was finally set to end. We achieved something extraordinary over the last few years and as time goes on, we accumulate bigger advantages over our direct rivals.

“These are clubs who spent money to improve their squads, but so have we and we keep getting better and better.

“To read that Juve are in crisis just because they lost one game by taking the wrong approach... but a defeat to Napoli can happen. This is a team that has always been on an upward trajectory and will continue to do so.”

Marchisio was asked whether the midfielders weren’t pushing up to score as much because of fatigue or the fact opponents had studied how to stop them.

“It’s normal that the other sides study every way possible to stop us. It’s normal we will find difficulty when the other teams are playing mainly to block our creative centres. Even so, we always created many chances and imposed our style on the opposition.”

Lyon stand in their way now and Marchisio admires their squad going into the game.

“It is certainly a very good side that proved its worth in Europe and Ligue 1. We haven’t had much time to study them, but from what we saw they are a very complete squad, strong physically with attacking players like Lacazette who can hurt you on the counter. Therefore we’ve got to be very wary.”

This week Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Juventus could not consider winning the Europa League a success, as they were built for the Champions League.

“In all honesty I’m not very interested in what he says,” replied Marchisio. “We started out in the Champions League trying to improve on last year, didn’t manage it, and now want to go all the way in the Europa League.

“It’s not just because the Final is in Turin, as our objective would still have been to go all the way, as that is always our target in every competition. Others can say what they want.”

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