Giorgio Chiellini says fans need to be patient with Juventus as they continue to get to grips with Maurizio Sarri’s style of play.
While the Serie A giants haven’t hit top form yet, they are nevertheless unbeaten in the league and hold a one-point advantage over second-placed Inter.
Chiellini, 35, thinks an adjustment period was inevitable following the five-year tenure of Massimiliano Allegri, but he feels his team-mates are dealing well with the change.
“After many years with Allegri it would have been different with any coach, but the results are going our way,” Chiellini told Tuttomercatoweb.
“You need to have patience, to understand the ideas of the coach, but in the meantime we need to pick up points and my team-mates are doing that.”
Chiellini is currently out of action with an ACL injury, and he watched from afar as Italy wrapped up their Euro 2020 qualifying run with a 9-1 win over Armenia, their 10th win from 10 in Group J.
The veteran defender thinks manager Roberto Mancini is fully deserving of praise coming his way after masterminding a perfect qualifying campaign.
“It’s a fairly surprising result, but I congratulated the coach even after the great win against Bosnia [on Friday],” Chiellini added.
“He changed the team’s trajectory in a very short time and understood the tricks needed to kickstart the group.
“He deserves so much credit because he is the true architect of this rebirth.”
Chiellini also offered an update on his rehabilitation from injury.
“I think I’ll be back on the pitch between February and March,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go. I’ve spent a few days abroad, but tomorrow I’ll return to continue my rehabilitation and it’s going very well. But you do need a lot of patience.
“They are doing very well without me, but I hope that I will be back during the spring to help out by giving all that I’ve got, like they are doing.”
Following the international break, Juventus return to action with a trip to fifth-placed Atalanta, the league’s highest scorers with 30 goals – compared to Juve’s 20.
They will then be looking to wrap up first place in their Champions League group away to Atletico Madrid, with qualification to the knockout stage already secured.