Allegri urges the Old Lady to jump immediately back into their stride
- The boss looks forward to Saturday's Coppa Italia clash with Bologna
- Max Allegri admits that Bologna are tough nut to crack and the Old Lady will be in for some serious strife with Serie A mediocres
- He delivers the latest Bianconeri news before the crucial match-up
Max Allegri sat down for a presser ahead of the Bianconeri's opening 2019 fixture against Bologna in the Coppa Italia to open up on a number of crucial issues:
"The Coppa Italia is one of our targets for the season, just as the Scudetto, the Champions League and the Super Cup are,” the coach told journalists at a news conference on Friday.
“The Dall'Ara will be a tough place to go because Bologna will be looking to pull off a surprise and knock us out. We must get our approach spot on as we'll get no second chances. It's important we get straight back into our stride.”
The coach went on to deliver some team news with several key players missing:
“[Wojciech ] Szczesny will play in goal with a view to our game on Wednesday. [Mattia] De Sciglio will play at right-back and either Alex Sandro or [Leonardo] Spinazzola on the left. [Leonardo] Bonucci will play in central defence. [Joao] Cancelo will be back for the Super Cup. [Moise] Kean might start tomorrow. Ronaldo will play against Bologna but I have to decide when and how. He's rested and relaxed and he's trained very well.”
The 52-year-old plans to field Paulo Dybala to help Ronaldo and Mandzukic who prefer to run in from behind:
“I expect [Paolo] Dybala to play well tomorrow, as he has been lately. He keeps going close to scoring and he's a key player for us with his link-up play. Ronaldo and [Mario] Mandzukic tend to make more runs in behind and finish off moves more than get involved in build-up play.”
The coach also discussed Ronaldo's playing time.
“He hasn't gone away on international duty this season so he's missed six games compared to last term. He's played more or less the same number of games. We'll see how best to use him going forward. I have to manage the other players too so that we can try and go all the way in every competition.”