Juventus must quickly dust themselves off from the disappointment of the loss at AC Milan last weekend with a trip to Maccabi Haifa beckoning tomorrow. Especially with the draw between PSG and Benfica last week, anything less than a victory in Israel will pretty much end Juve’s hopes of making the knockout rounds of the Champions League from Group H.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Monday, coach Massimiliano Allegri bemoaned his side continuing to make errors that doom them.
“It’s going to be a tough game, they showed good things here and played well against PSG. We must be careful, we can’t commit the same mistakes again.
“We need to play as a unit, the game against Milan was similar to the one against Benfica, where we could have scored the second goal. We must improve and be more solid, which is the easiest and most obvious thing to do.
“Right now, we must do something more. Details make the difference, even just one centimetre. We need attention and passion.”
Despite Juve’s inconsistent form and what looks like a lack of a cohesive strategy, the club leadership continue to insist that Allegri’s position is safe, likely because of the massive financial ramifications of firing him.
“We have a chance to return to the pitch immediately. The previous two victories were misleading and we need reality and practical things. It’s a path that we must take. There are strong teams, but we can’t make certain errors, we must avoid the repeated mistakes we’ve made since the start of the season.
“We must be aware of the importance of tomorrow’s match, fight on every ball, and do simple things.
“We need heart and passion, it’s a part of a path after many years of victories. We put in all our love and the passion that Juventus deserve, but we must do more and more, regain self-esteem and return to the previous standards.”
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who has been one of Juve’s most consistent performers this season, joined Allegri for the press conference and was asked about his side’s up and down form so far this campaign.
“We all want to react and do well, we want to win to believe in the qualification. We are talking, not everything goes well even when we win. We must isolate the problems on the pitch. We are a nice group and we are working well in training, so we must do the same during games.
“I feel important for the team, everyone has a specific role. Right now, I feel physically well and I want to help my teammates.”
With his contract set to expire at the end of this season, was he looking to extend his time in Turin and how about his hopes for the World Cup in just over a month?
“I don’t know, there are many things to think about these days, I want to help the team in this difficult moment.
“I am not even thinking about the World Cup, because there are many games with Juventus. We must do well and I think the other has the same mentality. It’s a tough season, we must focus on the club and then we’ll see.”
Rabiot insisted that Juve have the right coach for the task ahead of them.
“Allegri is a strong coach. He knows how to manage the team, also off the pitch. Not everyone can do it. To me, he is a complete coach, on and off the pitch.”