Max Allegri insists Juventus were never Scudetto contenders and are ‘here to challenge for the top four’ after their home defeat to Atalanta. ‘Once we are realistic, we take the pressure off.’
It was another painful defeat for the Bianconeri after the midweek 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Chelsea in the Champions League and leaves them seven points adrift of fourth place.
Duvan Zapata pounced on a defensive error and fired in off the underside of the bar, while Paulo Dybala’s free kick bounced off the top of the same piece of woodwork in stoppages.
“It was a performance similar to the one against Lazio, with Fiorentina and Milan,” Allegri told DAZN.
“We don’t make the most of the chances we create, Atalanta had only one shot on goal from our error, and as I said yesterday, it’s the goal that counts.
“There is some anxiety, the players are hasty and rush things, but we must keep working on the performances and try to win games to get that confidence and calm back.”
Allegri was asked if this Juventus squad was over-rated by the media and fans?
“I think it’s a very good squad, there are moments when we struggle to score goals, but people said at the start that this was the strongest squad that simply had to win the Scudetto and I always noted that was inaccurate.
“We are here to challenge for the top four. I cannot complain to my lads after this performance, I can only congratulate their efforts, then the rest is down to those of you who talk for a living.”
Allegri’s Juventus are seven points worse off at this stage than Andrea Pirlo was last season, and 15 points worse than under Maurizio Sarri.
“I think we must be realistic. If we are in this position after 14 rounds, it means this is what we are worth right now. There’s a long way to go, but in terms of performance, I only saw us get it really wrong against Verona, Sassuolo and Empoli.
“Once we are realistic, we can take the pressure off and work better in a calmer environment. All we can do is try to get the best out of ourselves.
“We are Juventus and people seem to think that means we must automatically be Scudetto favourites. What we need to do is keep working, try to calm down and score some more goals. At this moment we are struggling to score and in my view it’s because we have lost that sense of calm and confidence.
“There’s no point thinking of ifs and buts. We have to start from scratch, put everything behind us and be prepared to fight it out on level terms with Salernitana, then add our quality on top.”
Atalanta beat Juventus in Turin for the first time in Serie A since 1989! 👏😳 pic.twitter.com/VqQVkaiy1m
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 27, 2021