Ju­ven­tus keen to put Man United de­feat be­hind them

The Punch - - INTERVIEW -

MAS­SI­M­IL­IANO Al­le­gri has called on Ju­ven­tus to bounce back swiftly from their first de­feat of the sea­son as they pre­pare to face AC Mi­lan, re­ports.

The Bian­coneri were beaten for the first time since April as Manch­ester United scored two late goals to turn a dra­matic Cham­pi­ons League con­test on its head.

Yet head coach Al­le­gri is keen not to spend too much time mulling over the loss, with an­other crunch clash against old foes Mi­lan in Serie A on Sun­day.

“We have to keep do­ing what we are al­ready do­ing,” Al­le­gri told a pre-match news con­fer­ence. “We were up­set on Wed­nes­day as we are not used to los­ing, it had not hap­pened since April.

“But we lost a game that might be less im­por­tant in terms of the group and now it is Mi­lan against Ju­ven­tus. every once in a while, a step back­wards can help you move two for­ward.

“They are al­ways bal­anced matches (against Mi­lan) and San Siro will push the Ros­soneri on. It will be a tech­ni­cal and phys­i­cal match, with Mi­lan in great form.”

Gon­zalo Higuain left Ju­ven­tus for Mi­lan in the close-sea­son and Al­le­gri, while a great ad­mirer of the Ar­gentina in­ter­na­tional, has no re­grets.

“Higuain is a player who has given so much to Ju­ven­tus, who was so de­ci­sive in our vic­to­ries,” he said. “De­ci­sions were made on both sides and Mi­lan made a great sign­ing. He is one of the best strik­ers in the world.”

Al­le­gri is now hope­ful a change of ap­proach will see Cris­tiano ron­aldo thrive in Higuain’s ab­sence.

The coach added, “This year we have scored less goals but con­ceded less. We are only in November; there are still seven months un­til the end of the sea­son but we are on the right track.

“It will be nice to see Higuain again – he was im­por­tant for us – but we have Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, who is the best striker in the world. We have to work to his strengths.”

CHELSEA mid­fielder Ross Barkley is braced for a hos­tile re­cep­tion when his old club Ever­ton visit Stam­ford Bridge on Sun­day,

re­ports.

Barkley left Ever­ton to join Chelsea in Jan­uary af­ter 13 years at Good­i­son Park and this week­end faces the Tof­fees for the first time since that con­tro­ver­sial move.

The 24-year-old did not play for Ever­ton in the last seven months of his time on Mersey­side due to a ham­string prob­lem and even­tu­ally moved to Chelsea in a cut-price £15m ($19m) deal.

With his con­tract wind­ing down, Barkley had ini­tially been linked with Tot­ten­ham be­fore the Chelsea switch and his de­sire to fur­ther his ca­reer away from Ever­ton, com­bined with the pro­tracted na­ture of the trans­fer, soured his time with Tof­fees fans.

Barkley ex­pects those Ever­ton sup­port­ers to make their feel­ings known when he comes face to face with them in west Lon­don, but al­though he ad­mits it will be a “strange” ex­pe­ri­ence he is de­ter­mined not to be in­tim­i­dated.

“I don’t think the re­cep­tion will be the best,” Barkley told the evening stan­dard.

“I’m not ner­vous, I’m ex­cited to play against my for­mer club and team-mates. I un­der­stand how some of them play, so that could be an ad­van­tage for me.

“on the day I might get a few nerves as it will feel a bit strange. I’m look­ing for­ward to catch­ing up with some of the staff there who I used to get on re­ally well with.”

Af­ter strug­gling to break into the Chelsea team un­der pre­vi­ous boss An­to­nio Conte last sea­son, Barkley has impressed new man­ager Maurizio Sarri.

The eng­land in­ter­na­tional has be­come a reg­u­lar un­der sarri, scor­ing three goals in his last five Chelsea ap­pear­ances.

“I was ap­proach­ing 25 and I felt look­ing back I could have im­proved a lot more (at Ever­ton),” Barkley said.

“At Chelsea, I knew I’d im­prove a lot quicker around bet­ter play­ers, world-class play­ers.”

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