Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Allegri: Higuain needs to rediscover form after Juve axing

SoccerNews in Serie A 24 Sep 2017

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Massimiliano Allegri said his decision to drop Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus’ starting line-up was in a bid to help the misfiring striker rediscover his best form.

There was no room for Higuain in Allegri’s XI, the Juve head coach preferring Mario Mandzukic up front in Saturday’s 4-0 Serie A Derby della Mole victory over Torino.

Higuain has only scored twice in eight matches in all competitions this season, his most recent goal coming against Chievo on September 9, and Allegro explained the reasoning behind the decision post-match.

“Higuain was on the bench because there are many games and I preferred to give him a rest,” Allegri told Mediaset Premium.

“He’s an important player for us, there are moments when things work better at one time than another. There will be times when everyone gets time out, otherwise we won’t be able to maintain our consistency.

“I preferred to leave him out, he has already scored two goals this season and will score many more. He just needs to rediscover – or perhaps he never lost it – the calm of not feeling the need to score at all costs.

“I thank Mandzukic for his performance. I’m sure he could happily play in midfield too, he’s got physicality and technique, so can do a job anywhere.”

Pre-game, Juve general manager Giuseppe Marotta said: “It is absolutely a technical decision, you can call it squad rotation, as the coach is aware of the capabilities of these players and chose this XI without Higuain.

“Last season Juventus had 57 competitive games, so there has to be some rotation. Higuain is not in ideal form right now, so it’s only right that he is allowed to rest and recuperate, while others are given a chance.”

Juve have won all of their opening six matches to be level with Napoli atop the table, only separated on goal difference.

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