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Gonzalo Higuain “needs pampering one day and beating against a wall the next,” according to Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri.
While his goalscoring numbers have dropped in recent seasons, Higuain has played some of his best football under Sarri, scoring 36 goals in 35 Serie A games in 2015-16, his final season at Napoli.
From Sarri’s description, it seems as though the pair enjoy a unique working relationship.
“I always read that I fight with everyone, when actually the only person I fight with is Higuain,” Sarri told a press conference.
“I don’t know why that is, but it’s always been the case. Maybe it’s because he needs a rather aggressive counterpoint to bring out the best in him.
“Mentally he’s fine but physically I don’t know how much he can take because he’s been on and off lately.
“He needs pampering one day and beating against a wall the next! When he’s feeling down, he needs caring for.
“When he’s on a high, he must be brought down a peg because he can get too carried away.”
Juventus are closing in on yet another Italian title, seven points clear at the top of Serie A with eight games to play.
“Tomorrow’s a difficult game for us,” Sarri said.
“Milan, who have already created problems for us this season, are in great physical and mental condition and are playing at high levels.
“At a time like this, the mental aspect is very delicate and mistakes are only around the corner. The lads know it’s going to be a tough month, so they can’t lose focus.
“Our lead at the top shouldn’t make us relax. We’re at a time when games are all difficult and messing one up is extremely easy.
“We’re just focusing on tomorrow’s game. We’re not even looking at who we’re facing next.
“I haven’t made any personnel decisions yet. We’ll see what happens, but the obvious solutions seem to be Rugani and Higuain.
“Everyone’s been talking about how big our squad is, but right now we don’t have that many options to choose from.