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Allegri: Juventus wasted a whole month in five days

Coach's comments ahead of Champions League return leg against Zenit

Juventus Training Session & Press Conference Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus are back in Champions League action today, matchday four of the group stages, with Zenit St Petersburg coming to Turin for the return leg. The Russian side had held off Juve for most of their first leg game, but the late introduction of Dejan Kulusevski had brought the last gasp winner a fortnight ago.

Following their latest domestic defeat, Juve have gone into 'ritiro' (retreat), a punitive measure equivalent to a mid season training camp, to better focus for today and Saturday's game against Fiorentina.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Allegri talked about how getting a win or draw today would seal qualification for the knockout rounds.

“It’s the first target of the season. It would be great to achieve it and focus on Serie A games.

“Matthijs De Ligt and Federico Chiesa are available, Moise Kean, Mattia De Sciglio and Aaron Ramsey are not.”

The two consecutive league defeats ended an unbeaten run that had lasted a whole month.

“We are all disappointed because, in five days, we wasted what we had done in one month.

“We must reflect and work hard. With all the respect due, we conceded 11 goals out of 15 against teams that are in the lower half of the table.”

The porous defense has been very unlike Allegri's past exploits at Juventus. When asked if he was considering going back to his favored three-man backline the coach insisted he was not hung up on tactics.

"If it would mean not to concede goals anymore, I would do it. We must improve defensively, even in the reverse fixture, we didn’t do too well, even if the game seemed to be an easy one.

“The problem is the approach. You win the title by winning ‘normal’ games and we haven’t done it so far. It’s very easy, we must work on it.

“We must be quiet and work hard. We must play to win every game.”

Allegri was brought back on a 4-year contract, is he rethinking that decision?

“I want to stay at Juventus as much as possible. It’s not easy to win at Juventus, we are working with the club and with players.

"We’ve wasted a month of work and good results and now the target is to go beyond the group stage, then we’ll focus on Fiorentina. We must react and play a great game.”