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16-Jun-2020, 08:38 pm

Sarri fires back at critics over lack of trophies in Italy

Maurizio Sarri Juventus 2019-20

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri has revealed he gets “annoyed” when his critics say he has “won nothing” during his career in Italy.

Sarri was appointed Juve boss last summer after winning the Europa League with Chelsea – his first major piece of silverware as a coach.

He is preparing for Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final against Napoli and is also aiming to lead Juve to the Serie A title this season, and is irked by criticism of his CV.

“I get annoyed when they say, ‘In Italy, he has won nothing’,” said Sarri. “I earned eight promotions from one division to another, and I achieved them all on the pitch.”

Ahead of the meeting his former club Napoli in Rome, Sarri has praised his opposite number Gennaro Gattuso while urginghis Juventus players to turn their fine seasoninto something "concrete".

Sarri is under no illusions over the quality of Napoli, now led by Gattuso after he coached them between 2015 and 2018.

The Partenopei have only lost once in 10 matches and are bidding to win their first trophy since 2014, while Juve are top of Serie A and still in the Champions League as they target multiple trophies.

"Napoli are a difficult team to face," Sarri said.

"They are solid when they close the spaces and dangerous on the counter. They won against us, against Inter and drew with Barcelona, they know how to play at a high level.

"Napoli are a team of dribblers, on Wednesday we must remain compact and not allow easy counterattacking situations.

"I like Gattuso a lot, he is straightforward and direct. I'm not surprised by what he's achieving."

Sarri believes his approach has changed during the lockdown enforced by the coronavirus crisis.

He added: "From a mental point of view it's been a difficult period for everyone but I've seen the guys at their best: open, smiling and ready to play.

"Maybe I've also improved too, I'm more patient and less uncompromising.I am completely focused on the final and on our team, with the right concentration and conviction.

"We've played for seven months, and then have had a long break in order to play these remaining matches.

"Therefore, we'll have to give everything that we have and give that little bit more to win as many trophies as possible.

"Apart from a few games that haven't gone our way the results have been good so far.

"We have an excellent points average so we can be pleased with that, but now we want to transform it into something concrete."

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