Massimiliano Allegri refused to comment on the Paul Pogba news and underlined the difficulties facing Juventus in their coming clash with Napoli.

Earlier today, news broke that prosecutors have requested a four-year ban for the French midfielder after he tested positive for traces of DHEA in his system after the club’s 3-0 win over Udinese at the end of August.

In the meantime, Juventus are looking to keep up the pressure on league leaders Inter and will be expecting all three points when Napoli come to visit the Allianz Stadium on Friday evening.

Speaking in a press conference via TMW, Allegri first discussed his expectations for Juventus’ match with Napoli.

“It’s another direct clash, there are five games left until the end of the first half and we still have two direct clashes with Napoli and Roma at home and three difficult away matches.

“Our goal is to score more points than last year in the first half which was 38, quite a few, and now we are at 33. The main objective is this.”

He was asked to comment on the Pogba news and provide an update on Manuel Locatelli’s condition.

“I can’t answer about Pogba because the issue isn’t closed. Locatelli is fine, apart from Weah they’ve all recovered.”

The Juventus coach discussed some plans for his starting lineup and the team’s main objectives this season.

“I will decide tomorrow between Danilo and Alex Sandro, Alex came back very well but he was out for a long time and Danilo too, it could be that it will break the match with both of them.

“We are all fine, after Inter and Monza there’s euphoria but for us it’s important to have clear objectives and at the moment it’s to score more points than last year in the first half.

“The second objective is to reach the end of the season in the top four and continue with our growth path. Without getting too excited, wanting to improve, these are the most important things.

“The matches must be played one at a time, tomorrow is difficult, complicated, Napoli despite the defeat were in the match against Inter had excellent chances.

“They scored 17 points away, they have a very important roadmap. Juve have won only one time in the last seven meetings, this is another goal we can achieve.”

Allegri touched on Dusan Vlahovic’s mindset after his missed penalty and the quality of the Napoli squad.

“He’s fine like everyone else, penalties are missed. The Napoli players are the same, years change but they remain a strong team. This is demonstrated by the numbers they have put up on the road.”

He commented on the growth of Federico Gatti.

“Federico is doing well and has made giant strides, let’s remember that three years ago he played in the Lega Pro. He must improve like everyone else, he has the desire and the possibility to do so.”

He also spoke about Andrea Cambiaso’s development.

“He is an intelligent player who is very good at playing football, on the right he can perhaps enter further into the pitch and give us a hand in developing the play.”

The Juventus coach was asked if the team desire revenge after last season’s meetings with Napoli.

“Last year at Napoli we took a bad defeat, we conceded the third goal from a corner with Locatelli half dying on the pitch. Napoli’s value is important this year too and they demonstrated it against Inter.”

He spoke about some recent conversations with Pogba.

“We spoke via messages at the beginning, now we will wait for the end of this situation.”

Allegri discussed what tomorrow’s match means for Juventus.

“I want to see what they’ve given so far. In addition to the performances they’ve done, good in other matches, the desire to be able to win every match. Compare every match. This is very important. Tomorrow will definitely be a good match.”

He touched on if he felt the pressure this season.

“When you’re at Juventus you have to know how to live with the pressure on you, a title or a season doesn’t end tomorrow.

“To get above 38 points we have to do a lot because we have two head-to-head matches and three away games. The important thing is to maintain balance to face the season in the best way.”

The Bianconeri coach was asked if the constant criticism had any effect.

“Answering is of no use, you just have to do it and bring home the results. Everyone is free to express themselves as they think, we just have to think about doing.”

He spoke about the lessons learnt from last season’s 5-1 loss.

“It’s not from that match, last year there were players like Gatti and Bremer who were in their first year at Juventus in a difficult year.

“All situations help you grow if you experience them as opportunities for growth. The boys HAVE been good, they come to work to improve themselves every day.”

Allegri gave his view on Gianluigi Buffon’s suggestion that Juventus have rediscovered their soul.

“It’s not compared to last year… When I say that we need to overcome the 38 points of last year’s first half, it’s because despite the difficulties last year we had a good first half. Let’s do a job where at the end of the game you have to bring home the result.”

He was asked if the long absences of Pogba and Nicolo Fagioli have changed things for the club.

“It would be better not to talk about the transfer market now, the most important thing is that the team manages to score as many points as possible until January 7.”

Finally, Allegri commented on where Danilo would play if he did.

“If he plays, he’ll play in defence.”

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