Max Allegri believes a Juventus title bid next season would take ‘a lot of calm’ as the club have to be ‘realistic’ about their chances. The Bianconeri boss was speaking after Juve’s 2-0 win over Cremonese which takes them a step closer to securing Champions League football for next season. The match was a largely one-sided affair with goals from Nicolo Fagioli and Arek Milik, but it was overshadowed by yet another injury to Paul Pogba, who had made his first start of the season in the game. Speaking with DAZN after the game (as quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport), Allegri explained why they had been optimistic about the Frenchman’s return to the pitch, but a season on the sidelines would have inevitably have had an impact on his durability:
“We are all sorry, he was doing reasonably well. We had minutes of difficulty in regaining positions and sorry for the sacrifices made. Now he will definitely have to recover himself.”
“Paul is now a man with children, he has broad shoulders to get through this muscle injury. It’s normal when you sit a year without playing that the chances of injury increase, unfortunately he was doing well and we’re sorry: we’ll wait.”
“Sevilla in the Europa League? When you increase physicality and running in the second half it means that the team is well physically: in the second half by increasing speed and verticalizing on balls won we did well on the restart. In the first half we had to do it better when we were recovering the ball outside the area, instead we were going in protection of the ball and too slow. The team is well, in a one-off game anything can happen, to get there after a draw is a good result for how it had set up… we are open to all situations. We will find an environment that is not easy. We will have to stay calm, lucid: in the first leg we had started well in the first 25 minutes, then the goal destabilized us. It can also happen in Seville but we have to stay inside the game.”
“The Scudetto next season? We need to take it one small step at a time. First we have to finish this season in the best way, consolidate one of the top four places in the league by trying to finish second on the field. Then we’ll see what the Europa League gives us on Thursday and what we are good at going for.
“For next year, I repeat that to get back to winning ways, there is still a little bit to go. This year 5-6-7 youngsters from the Next Gen have been brought in, a job that started years ago: next year we start again, maybe you start well, find the right chemistry and everything changes. For sure you start again to fight for the top, but it takes a lot of calm and you have to be realistic and serene to take responsibility away from a group with many young people in it.”