Juventus coach Allegri seeks improvement against Cagliari

Turin, Sep 20 (IANS) Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri called on his footballers to up the ante and return to winning ways after a 1-2 loss to Inter Milan when they entertain Cagliari in Serie A on Wednesday night.

After a draw and a defeat in their last two matches, it should not take much to motivate the five-time defending champions for a return to winning ways at the Juventus Stadium.

Those two results aside, Allegri remained optimistic of a successful season while calling on his charges to right the wrongs of the last week and to turn on the style in front of their home supporters.

“The goal aside, which came from an excellent piece of play from Alex Sandro, we were poor on Sunday. Scoring and then immediately conceding twice is something that shouldn’t happen, of course,” Allegri said at the pre-match press conference, as reported by his club’s website.

“The way we play will need to be slightly adjusted relative to last season to ensure that we make the most of the characteristics of our new arrivals, all of whom have plenty more to offer,” he added.

“As ever, we’ll approach the encounter with maximum focus and with an eye on ironing out the mistakes we made in possession at the San Siro. We must improve, if not, we’ll be in for a tough evening.”

As for the Cagliari game, Juventus have decided to field young defender Daniele Rugani, while German midfielder Sami Khedira will be rested.

“Daniele Rugani has trained very well over the summer and, as I’ve said before, will be an important Juventus player for years to come. Given the number of matches we’ll be playing, you can expect to see lots of Rugani this campaign,” he said.

Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain is expected to start after being benched against Inter Milan.

Allegri also gave confidence to young forward Paulo Dybala who is yet to score in the five matches so far.

“Paulo Dybala played well on Sunday and for me, all that’s missing at the moment is a goal. Everyone knows what a fabulous player he is and all he can do is remain calm and keep doing what he’s been doing early on this season,” he said.

–IANS

pur/vt

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