Sarri on Juventus difficulties: ‘We lost our focus after the corona break’

Juventus clinched their ninth consecutive Serie A title on Sunday after beating Sampdoria 2-0. For 61-year-old Maurizio Sarri it meant his first major trophy in Italy and thus the manager was delighted after winning his title. He also spoke about the difficulties he and his side faced after the three month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There were tactical difficulties, trying to get all these very strong players and their various characteristics to work together”, Sarri looked back on his first season at Juventus. “That was not something to be taken for granted, as we saw in previous years, because Dybala and Ronaldo didn’t really start together very often. They are world class, but it’s not easy to get them to work together with their characteristics. With a lot of work, I think we managed it.”

Sarri has insisted that the three month lockdown did not help Juventus this season. “Before the lockdown, we seemed to find a certain solidity, that we then lost again after the restart. I saw in many teams during this period that they got stretched out or lost focus at times, so maybe it was a general issue we all had after such a long break.”

To solve the difficulties between the team and the manager, Sarri issued a discussion with the players. “I think that happens more or less in any dressing room, doesn’t it? We all try to seek improvements and find ways that everyone can be happy, as this is a collaboration. The more openly we face issues, the easier we can resolve them.”

During the title celebrations Sarri was asked what he said to his team after they won the title. “I told them, if you won with me who has never won anything, you must be really good!” he laughed. “The first day you come in, you see people, not just world class players. As time passes, you get fond of them and the rapport goes from being strictly professional to personal too. The first day, I step into the locker room and know there are some top players. After a while, you walk in there knowing there are some great guys you can rely on too.”