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Martusciello: ‘De Ligt will improve’

September 1, 2019

Juventus assistant manager Giovanni Martusciello believes Matthijs De Ligt will improve following his Juve debut while insisting that “this squad does not give up.”

The Bianconeri raced to a three goal lead before conceding three to Napoli and winning the game in fortunate fashion thanks to an own goal.

“We saw a physical dip after the hour mark and it was tough against a side like Napoli who pass it so well, but we also got distracted and should’ve made more of the situation when 3-0 up,” Martusciello told Sky Sport Italia.

“You can concede goals, but not three in 16 minutes. Perhaps we felt sated by going 3-0 up and allowed Napoli to bite back.

“When there are errors of positioning and then reaction, you’re going to concede goals against players of this quality. I want to focus on the very positive performance in the first hour, but some fear set in after they got back into it.

“I’ve been here for around a month and even in the pre-season friendlies I was amazed by the way this squad does not give up. They gave their all and kept going to achieve something from the game and it is a remarkable trait.

“This team was built to defend deep and go on the counter, or at most keep possession inside our own half, which is very different to how we tend to play. It’s difficult to make that shift in a month, we worked on some characteristics of players and were pleasantly surprised – above all by Miralem Pjanic – that they were able to do what we asked.

“We are working a lot on playing out from the back, fortunately we have a lot of quality in the squad, but just need to adjust the passing lines and movements that they were not accustomed to. We need more belief and to keep going in that direction.

“De Ligt is still a little bit behind in terms of learning the movements and being part of the defensive unit. He has arrived in a difficult league like Serie A from a very different team, but he has a great deal of quality, is very intelligent and will learn quickly. He had a very good hour too, so he’s getting there.

“We had hoped for more time to get him settled, but unfortunately Giorgio Chiellini had that serious injury and changed the plans.”

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