Juventus news

Carrera tells Vucinic to earn his place

September 17, 2012
By Adam Digby

Juventus' stand-in coach Massimo Carrera has warned star striker Mirko Vucinic that he needs to earn his place in the team ahead of Wednesday's Champions League tie against Chelsea.

Claudio Marchisio Mirko Vucinic
GettyImagesMirko Vucinic: On the bench against Genoa

• ESPN FC's Champions League guide
• Sign up for UCL fantasy
• Play our UCL predictions game
• Mina Rzouki: Visible maturity as Juve fight back

Vucinic was left on the bench for Juve's Serie A fixture against Genoa at the weekend but came on to score one goal and set up another as the Bianconeri came from a goal down to win 3-1.

After praising his contribution however, Carrera - in the dugout as Antonio Conte serves his ten month suspension relating to match fixing offences - appeared to indicate it was more than merely squad rotation.

"It's hardly news that Vucinic is a great player, but he was tired after international duty and Alessandro Matri was in better shape," Carrera told Sky Italia.

"Vucinic knows he is an important player, but he has to prove he deserves his place in training, just like everyone else. If someone thinks they are untouchable then they might relax during training. This way we keep everyone on their toes."

The coach was also keen to play down the suggestion that his side had been distracted by the Chelsea fixture - Juve's first in the Champions League in almost three years.

He told reporters: "Were our minds on Chelsea? No, we were focused on Genoa, absolutely."