Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri highlighted the importance of his side's unconvincing victory over 10 man Fiorentina in Serie A, on Wednesday night.
Mario Mandzukic scored the vital goal for the home side from Juan Cuadrado's cross, but the Old Lady could not increase their lead after seeing Milan Badelj sent off for the Viola with 25 minutes to play.
Speaking to the press after the game, via Football Italia, the 50-year-old admitted his side's performance wasn't the best but it was a crucial result early on in the season, saying: “It’s an important victory because we kept a clean sheet, we suffered and in the first half were a bit stubborn, not running any risks.
“The result was crucial and the lads deserve compliments for that. Gonzalo Higuain did well on the Mandzukic goal and his goals will come, he just has to continue playing. There’s no point feeling sorry for yourself, these are moments every striker goes through.”
Allegri decided to ring the changes for his side following their 3-1 win over Sassuolo at the weekend, and it took the much changed eleven time to settle into the game: "I decided to rest Stephan Lichtsteiner, as we’ve got another game coming up with Torino on Saturday. In order to be competitive, you have to rotate the squad.
"Sturaro did well, he’s just getting used to the role. Bentancur deserves praise. The only reason we didn’t have a shot on target in the first half was we misplaced the final ball. In these games the important thing is not to run too many risks, we did better in the second half."
The 1-0 win meant Juventus continued their 100% record in the league this season but Allegri is expecting a much closer race for the Scudetto this campaign, as they search for their seventh consecutive title.
“It’s not a stronger or weaker Juventus than last season, it’s simply different. Comparisons are for others to make, we just have to work to ensure we reach March in good shape and in the running for all our objectives.
“Napoli play very well, Juve have a different approach. They are antagonists for the title, but there are others too, as I see four or five teams in the running. We have to take it one game at a time and try to win a seventh consecutive Scudetto.”