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Pirlo: We all still believe

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Coach remains defiant even as the Scudetto slips away point by point

Juventus v FC Crotone - Serie A Photo by Sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The path to Juventus’ tenth consecutive Scudetto grows narrower, steeper, fainter and rockier by the game, but coach Andrea Pirlo refuses to let that weigh him or his side down. Speaking ahead of the clash tomorrow against Spezia just three days after a draw at Hellas Verona put them even further behind league leaders Inter Milan, Pirlo still believes, outwardly at least.

“Spezia are proving to be up for Serie A, having a great championship. They have achieved great results against the big teams too. It will be a difficult match.

“It will be an important match for us, who must continue to fight for the Scudetto. We will have to play an intense game from the first minute. We know we have been caught on four occasions, but each match was different. We have analysed the mistakes made and we will try to avoid repeating them.”

Despite youngster Dejan Kulusevski struggling in the second striker role, Pirlo dismissed the idea of using Federico Chiesa in that role.

“Federico Chiesa as a second striker is not conceivable. There are no players like him in the squad, he’s playing well in his position and we will continue to use him there.

“We will evaluate Alvaro Morata tomorrow, and we’ll see if he can be on the bench.”

Another youngster Nicolo Fagioli has looked composed when he has played, and Pirlo is expecting to have him back for the visit of 15th placed Spezia, especially with Weston McKennie tiring and Arthur Melo still out.

“Fagioli had an intestinal problem, let’s hope he’ll be better tomorrow. McKennie is better, even if he needs a little rest. In an emergency period we need his contribution, even if it’s only for a certain number of minutes.

“There’s no news on Arthur, we hope to recover him as soon as possible.”

The coach said that he is trying to keep his side focused and not looking at the table too much.

“We don’t look at who are above us, nor behind us, we concentrate on ourselves. The goal must remain the same, there are many games and as long as there’s room to recover, we will be there.

“The initial goal was to win them all, we know we lost a few points, but that concerns the past. We have to look to the future and the future is called Spezia.”

The former midfielder insists that his squad is still united in the belief that they can win the league.

“I wouldn’t say we can chase the Scudetto if I didn’t know that the team thinks so too.

“I know the lads believe it, they train well and want to go back to winning the title and this makes me feel comfortable.”