Andrea Pirlo urges Juventus to improve ‘mental strength’ as Serie A champions look to close ten-point gap on Milan by following up midweek win over leaders against Sassuolo
- Juventus secured a crucial 3-1 victory at Serie A leaders AC Milan on Wednesday
- The champions can build on the win when they play Sassuolo at home on Sunday
- Sassuolo stand a point and a place behind Andrea Pirlo’s side in the league table
- Juve are currently fifth and Pirlo has urged his players to show ‘mental strength’
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has told his players to show their ‘mental strength’ ahead of their Serie A showdown with Sassuolo on Sunday.
The reigning champions earned an important 3-1 win at leaders AC Milan on Wednesday and now face a tricky test with the visit of the side directly beneath them in the table.
Pirlo warned: ‘It was an important victory but if we don’t win [on Sunday], then it will all have been for nothing.
Striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus had an impressive 3-1 win at Serie A leaders AC Milan
Coach Andrea Pirlo now wants Juve to continue that form when they host Sassuolo on Sunday
‘If we don’t get a result here, then what we did at the San Siro will fall into the background.
‘What I do want is for us to improve our mental strength. Too many times, we score a goal and then have a few minutes after that where our heads are in the clouds.
‘I ask for more concentration because those are important minutes to give a sense of consistency.’
Juve recovered from losing 3-0 at home to Fiorentina in their final game of 2020 by winning 4-1 at home to Udinese before their confidence-boosting victory at Milan.
The reigning champions remain ten points short of Milan after an inconsistent campaign so far
That result has put them ten points behind Milan with two games in hand, and they can gain more ground on the frontrunners when they visit second-placed Inter Milan next Sunday.
Pirlo says his side are are targeting Milan, who suffered their first defeat in the loss to Juve.
The rookie boss insisted: ‘Whoever is top remains the team to beat.
‘We’ve won for nine years in a row and clearly there is pressure on us, but Milan are the team to beat because they are the leaders.
Juve have two matches in hand on Milan and will face second-placed Inter Milan next Sunday
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