Wednesday February 8 2017
Allegri: 'Expected Crotone struggle'

Max Allegri “knew it was going to be difficult” against Crotone, but the Juventus Coach "won't confirm or deny" Arsenal links.

Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain scored the goals in a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Scida.

“Crotone have often conceded goals late on, for example against Fiorentina, Milan and Lazio, so we knew this was going to be difficult and they’d block off all the spaces,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We could’ve done better in the speed of our passing in the first half, but we allowed nothing at the back, maintaining sharpness and organisation.

“We didn’t have enough width down the right, so I tried to introduce strikers who could go one-on-one and it went much better in the second half.

“I did ask Mario Mandzukic if he needed rest and he said no. Marko Pjaca did well today and is young, so he will be an important player for the second half of the season. I think he can really improve once he gets to understand Italian football.

“In two or three years, I think Miralem Pjanic will play in front of the defence. He’s not ready yet, as he’s accustomed to splitting the pitch in two with another midfielder. The roles also require different running and work-rate, so after 50-60 minutes he loses sharpness.”

At the final whistle, Andrea Barzagli went off the pitch visibly irritated and it’s reported he had a muscular problem.

“Barzagli felt this pain in his thigh, I hope it’s just some scar tissue that got stretched, but he’ll have tests tomorrow.”

Napoli beat Bologna 7-1 and Roma crushed Fiorentina 4-0 last night, but Juventus are less spectacular.

“Roma are an important club, as are Napoli, but the crucial thing is to get the most points. They will make it tough for us to the end, we have to focus on our own results.”

When speaking to Mediaset Premium, Allegri was asked about the rumours his future is in the Premier League.

“I won’t deny or confirm anything. I am in sync with the club, now we have to focus on winning. At this time of the season the media always says I’m leaving, even when things are going really well.”