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Allegri takes responsibility for Champions League exit, is ready for next year

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Manager’s comments ahead of Derby d’Italia

Genoa CFC v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Juventus take on Inter Milan on Saturday in the Derby d’Italia, and the newly-crowned 8-in-a-row Scudetto champions will be ready for the game despite there being technically nothing left to play for.

“Inter-Juventus is a wonderful match. We have to come away with a result because between now and the end of the season, we have the objective of continuing to pick up points in these games, which stimulate us.”

The manager then provided an update on the injury-struck Bianconeri, including some tactical twists.

Giorgio Chiellini has returned and will play tomorrow. Instead, we’ve lost Rodrigo Bentancur to a muscle strain.

“In attack if Moise Kean plays, the change will be Federico Bernardeschi. We don’t have many alternatives but we’ll adapt.

“Bernardeschi is now forced to play as a forward, but I want to know if he can play as a central midfielder in the future.

“It’s an experiment that excites me. The other tactical variant I’d like to try is that of Joao Cancelo, also as a ‘mezz’ala’. For the rest, Emre Can in defence is nothing new.”

Juve will come up against Beppe Marotta, the long-serving transfer guru that got the club back to the lofty heights of Italian football again before mysteriously leaving the club earlier this season.

“I haven’t seen him since he left, so I’d like to see him again.

“We did great things together. We’re professionals, roads can divide but that doesn’t detract from the good deeds we did.”

Speaking of meetings, what are the plans for next season?

“I’ll meet Andrea Agnelli. We’ll meet to make plans and create new objectives. The most important thing is to be clear-headed and make decisions to lay the foundations for an important season.

“We need to come out better for it, planning for a season that will be difficult. The Champions League is as beautiful as a ‘bastard’ (*expletive not confirmed).

“We must arrive at the right time in the best possible condition. Injuries can be a decisive factor, but talking now is useless.”

Many fans want to see Allegri replaced, but for now it appears he will be staying past this season.

“My tenure has lasted five years and I can only speak for myself: if you don’t win the Champions League for five years, it’s not exactly a drama.

“We need to understand where we went wrong, work and have a little more luck. This year, for the first time in my five years, we got to the quarter-finals in bad shape.

“Certainly, I’m also responsible for that.”