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Allegri: Juventus need to shake off fear

Coach’s comments as Juve fall away at the San Siro

AC MIlan v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Juventus failed to register a win last season against any of the top three sides, and on the basis of today’s abject performance away at AC Milan, nothing is going to change this season. Mind you, last year Juve were just about the fourth-best side in the Serie A but this is a whole new campaign and if they keep playing this way then qualifying for Europe will be an achievement, let alone a top four spot.

While there might have been some controversy about how the Rossoneri took the lead today, there was little doubt that they were the better side and well worth the victory as Juventus continued to play like a side that had only just met each other for the first time on the ride over from Turin.

To start the season Juve were turning wins into draws, but now those are turning into losses and speaking after the game coach Massimiliano Allegri had no answers.

“After tonight’s game, there is little for me to say. We are in a moment where we seemed to be out of the negative period with these two victories, but we fell for it again. It’s a pity, as we did well for the first 20-25 minutes, then got deeper and deeper without even being forced into it.

“We made a lot of misplaced passes and inevitably you pay for that.”

The Bianconeri were second to every ball and looked slow and plodding at times, but Allegri insisted it wasn’t just a fitness issue.

“I think it was psychological too. It’s not easy at the moment, we dropped a lot of points against the lower-mid table teams, then in these big clashes we needed more confidence.

“It is unfortunate that on both goals we conceded from our own mistakes. We just need to stay calm, roll our sleeves up and on Tuesday we must go to Maccabi Haifa with the mental strength to win that game.”

The coach struck a more worried note during his comments after the game.

“It is strange, at a certain point we just stop playing and start to back down. After Leao hit the post, we started going backwards. And there are also some passes that are just impossible to get wrong.

“It’s not as if two good games can resolve all the problems. It was five against three on some of our attacks, we need to score goals in those situations. We’ve got to be more determined in the challenges and shake off our fear, as otherwise we won’t have the balance to go far this season. If we shake off the fear, we can turn things around.

“When you pass the ball backwards, the other side will push forward and don’t even need to press you that hard. We need to work on that and improve.”