Sarri previews the Coppa Italia match against Udinese

Coach Maurizio Sarri was back in front of the journalists to discuss the tomorrow’s Coppa Italia game against Udinese: “Matthijs De Ligt is coming back to peak form and the Roma match is a proof of that. Daniele Rugani is an important player and I hold him in high regard.”

“It is not easy to recover after a big game but we have to do that, we spent a lot physically and mentally on Sunday. We want to move forward, so we have to find the proper motivations and strength to recharge the batteries. Every competition we are in is an objective of ours.”

On Emre Can as a defensive fill-in: “I think it would take him time to learn to play as centre-back in a four-man line, he plays in a three-man one in the national team. Also in the midfield, you need peculiar skills depending on the role. In 4-3-1-2 the two box-to-box midfielders have to slide to the flank and cover more ground.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo: “We feel like the strikers are all in good conditions. He is fine physically and he is in an extraordinary moment. The numbers speak for him, not only scoring-wise. If he feels like he has recovered, he will play.”

On Marko Pjaca: “We will see, it will depend on the conditions of the others. He was very unlucky in the last two years. He was one of our targets at Napoli and we were angry when Juventus swooped in. He has great potential and I would be happy if there was room to use him.”

On the lineup: “I think Gianluigi Buffon will start, he is a key resource for us. The ones that played the other day mostly recuperated energies today, their sensations are what matters the most and, 48 hours after a game is the time when you most at risk of injuring yourself. The numbers are reassuring, but we will make more proper assessments tomorrow morning in a short practice.”

On the injuries in Rome: “I think the pitch at the Olimpico was better than in previous years. Seeing how they occurred, I doubt they are related to that, they were structural problems, Merih Demiral got hurt after leaping and landing awkwardly, Nicolò Zaniolo maybe even before the collision.”

On Paulo Dybala: “We talk daily because he is a funny guy. He simply asked why I subbed him off. We have strong forwards, we do not have to always focus on the controversies. Some arguments can happen in any workplace.”

On Federico Bernardeschi: “He is happy to learning to play as box-to-box. We are working on that, he will need some time. I am satisfied because he is approaching it with the right enthusiasm.”

On Adrien Rabiot: “He is playing well on the right side on the pitch and he is improving in his rhythm and intensity. There is the foundation for him to continue to do well. We have few players that can be used on the left.”

On Giorgio Chiellini: “He is being handled by the medical staff and not yet by the coaching one. I saw that he is running pretty fluidly, but we will have a better idea when he will be back practicing with the group. We are sorry that Demiral got hurt in such a special moment for him, he had improved a lot in a hurry.”

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