Juventus have secured fourth place and Champions League football for next season, but tomorrow’s visitors Lazio are still looking to ensure they cannot be caught in fifth and book their berth in the Europa League. Massimiliano Allegri’s side have faltered badly in the last couple of weeks and he will be wanting his side to correct that in their last home game of the season.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Monday night game, he addressed comments that the season was a failure.
“For who we are, we’re fine, tomorrow is the last at home and we have to honour it as best we can. Then it’s Chiellini’s celebration and Dybala’s last game, we must unite all three.
“They are two different things. Chiellini spent 17 years with Juve, Paulo has a career ahead of him and will have the tribute of all the fans.
“Failure I’m hearing. When you’re at Juve it’s normal that there are high expectations, but such years happen.
“In the meantime we achieved Champions League qualification, which seems like a trivial objective but it’s not. It’s eleven consecutive years that Juve has taken part in the Champions League and it’s an important result.”
The coach was asked to rate the campaign, but he seemed irritated by the question.
“These are trivial questions… What do I say, 3? So are you happy? You always have to win here, but qualifying for the Champions League is not a trivial objective.
“I am satisfied because of the team’s growth and the minimum goal achieved. Then I am not satisfied because we did not win anything.
“From what was negative there are always positive things, fighters in a season that stopped with Inter. Then moments often decide things. You have to take Wednesday’s defeat with you, it’s something I’ll find hard to erase.”
Rumours are rife that Paul Pogba could be headed back to Turin.
“The season is not over yet and Pogba is a Manchester United player, with the club we will talk about the market at the end of the season. I have already forgotten, I don’t remember him so much, I have a full memory.”
Is he expecting his side to play the last two games with full motivation?
“Lazio and Fiorentina are teams in the running for the Europa League. By the way, tomorrow Sarri arrives, who is the coach of the last Scudetto, I think he will be shrewd because he deserves it.
“Some players will not be there. Danilo has finished his season, Arthur will have finished as well. De Sciglio will be back, Zakaria had a knock on his thigh and we have to evaluate but he won’t be there tomorrow.
“McKennie will see if he can be available on Wednesday. We saw Locatelli who had been out for a while. Miretti will play again tomorrow.”
What did he learn from the loss in the Coppa Italia final?
“Those are always there. The final must stay with us because we lost. The team did its best, but let’s not forget that in the long run numerically we paid for the traumatic injuries. Chiesa, McKennie, Danilo, Bonucci, it’s normal to pay in terms of strength.
“Vlahovic next year will be a better player than now, because he is young and can improve and has already been at Juve for six months. We have players who can potentially grow. Then with the market we’ll try to improve on the team’s shortcomings.”