Pirlo: ‘Transitional period is over’

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo stressed ‘the transitional period is over’ for the Bianconeri and revealed Matthijs de Ligt could start against Cagliari.

The Old Lady replaced Maurizio Sarri with Andrea Pirlo and, despite an unbeaten run in Serie A, the new coach said his players should have adapted to the new style and stressed ‘our championship must start now’.

The players returned from a positive national break and Pirlo said some of his fringe players might have gained confidence during the last two weeks.

“I don’t know if it’s our merit, they are definitely strong players,” Pirlo said at a press conference.

“Maybe some had played a little less in recent weeks and it did them well playing for the national team, to gain confidence and pace.

“We are happy they are back with great desire and that they are now ready to play.”

Pirlo said the game against Cagliari is ‘fundamental’ for the Old Lady’s ‘growth’ and reminded his players that the transitional period is now over.

“It’s a fundamental game. We come from inactivity due to the national teams, but we need it for our growth.

“Now, our championship must start, the adaptation period is over, and we will have 10 games to play as if they were Finals until Christmas.

“Starting with tomorrow, I want to see a different fighting spirit. Playing with great strength to achieve results.”

But he doesn’t expect an easy affair against Eusebio Di Francesco’s men.

“They’re an excellent team, led by an excellent coach. Di Francesco brought great enthusiasm, a good game development both when they play with three and with four.

“They have good and experienced players both in midfield and in attack, it will be an important and difficult game, but we won’t have to look at the result but only at ourselves and try to win the game.

“I want to see a team that want to achieve a result in any way, we must have the hunger and desire to win every game without neglecting the smallest details. What Juve have always done in these years.”

The coach confirmed Alex Sandro and Matthijs De Ligt have recovered from injuries but admitted only the Dutch centre-back will be in contention to start against the Rossoblu.

“They are fine. De Ligt had been training with us for a while and then we waited for the response from the orthopaedist and now everything is fine. He’s ready to play.

“Alex Sandro trained with us last week, it will take a little longer to start him, but he can be called up.”

With the returning defenders, Pirlo hopes he can stop experimenting, like he did with Danilo in recent weeks.

“I hope the experiments are over. I have had the opportunity to work with players who are super willing to talk and to make technical and tactical changes, and that satisfies me.

“Then, depending on the matches, maybe something will always change, some movements by someone, but let’s first give an energetic and straight impression.”

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