Thursday February 16 2017
Allegri: ‘Pjaca must work harder’

Marko Pjaca could start for Juventus tomorrow, confirms Max Allegri, but “to reach certain levels he has to start pedalling”.

The Bianconeri face Palermo tomorrow ahead of their Champions League clash with Porto, and the Coach was asked about rotation.

“I’ll have to evaluate tomorrow and then I’ll decide,” Allegri explained in his pre-match Press conference.

“[Giorgio] Chiellini and [Andrea] Barzagli are recovering, so between tomorrow and Sunday we’ll know whether they’ll be available for Wednesday.

“We have [Daniele] Rugani, [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Medhi] Benatia. Benatia is very good, he came back from the Africa Cup of Nations in good condition.

“Rugani has grown a lot and I’m very happy with him, Bonucci is the same because after his injury he needed a few games to get back into condition.

“Tomorrow it will be 300 Juventus games for Leonardo, an important goal for a player who has grown a lot since he arrived at Juventus, both technically and in terms of personality.

“He has become a mainstay on and off the pitch, even if there’s always room to improve. So tomorrow one of Benatia or Rugani will play.

“Stefano Sturaro? Sturaro could play, it depends whether we go with a front four or with three central midfielders.

“I have to evaluate, because with [Mario] Mandzukic out we need to figure out how we’ll play. But he’ll definitely have space from the start or during the game.

“Gigi [Buffon] plays tomorrow. Then we’ll see for the Champions League… At Porto Buffon won’t play [said with a laugh]!

“Tomorrow we’ll put someone in place of Mandzukic or play with three in the middle, if we play with four attackers then Sturaro or Pjaca could take the place of Mandzukic.

“Pjaca though must start understanding that to reach certain levels he needs to start pedalling, because football isn’t just about technique, it’s about sacrifice and availability.

“He has great quality, but we’re Juve and if you want to become a great player you need the right mindset.”

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