Allegri: Juventus have regrets we didn’t do better


Head coach of Juventus Massimiliano Allegri gives his team instructions during the Coppa Italia Quarter-Final match between Juventus FC and Frosinone Calcio at Allianz Stadium on January 11, 2024 in Turin, Italy.

Juventus recorded another strong second half but were unable to find the winner away at AS Roma, making it four draws in a row now. The Bianconeri were unable to take advantage of AC Milan and Bologna also drawing their games, with Gleison Bremer’s equalizer leveling after Romelu Lukaku had put the hosts ahead.

Not for the first time in recent weeks Massimiliano Allegri lost his temper late on with his own players, with the irate coach flinging off his jacket and storming down the tunnel.

“We risked losing a game that we were in a position to win at the start of the second half. It was natural that Roma then came back at us, but in the final minutes our control of the ball was incredibly bad. We really did risk throwing away a valuable result in a head-to-head clash.”

The draw was their fourth in a row, and Allegri’s side have only managed two wins now in their last 14 league games, but somehow are still virtually assured of a Champions League berth despite that.

“There are regrets, naturally we could’ve done better during this period, but football is vicious like that, sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. We sort of crumbled after the home defeat to Udinese.

“Knowing full well that Inter are clearly better, and that we had a 12-14 point lead over the chasing pack, it becomes natural to slow down a bit.

“There was also a run of incidents in those games where Milik was sent off, then Vlahovic, Kean and Chiesa were not in good shape, then Rabiot got hurt too, McKennie’s shoulder was dislocated, there were some unfavourable situations.

“It doesn’t take long for you to capitulate, especially at Juventus when everyone is ready to dive in and criticise, but the lads managed to calm down and take it one step at a time. Now we have a good advantage and have the opportunity to seal it on Saturday against Salernitana.

“So yes, there are regrets we didn’t do better, but there were a few situations that slotted together to cause us problems.”

Juventus should be back in Europe next season, how will things be different given that even with only domestic commitments his side look fatigued?

“If you look at the midfielders, Locatelli, Rabiot and McKennie, at a certain point they got hurt, then we lost Paul Pogba and Fagioli to bans, they were players who could certainly help. Even if Paul was not at 100 per cent, his presence for 30 minutes could still frighten the opposition.

“I learned as a kid that the midfield is the sector that makes the team tick. It inspires the forwards and protects the defenders.

“As I said, we had to play with the same midfielders all the way through. One quality of this team is that they never hold back and we did a lot of work on improving our limitations.”

Roma coach Daniele De Rossi insisted that Juve have “exceptional players,” but yet Allegri for his part seems to think that doing better might be beyond his side.

“The important thing now is to concentrate on the next game, as that is the match ball for the Champions League, then we have the Coppa Italia Final.

“The club will evaluate at the end of the season, naturally there are some solid foundations for Juventus, but we were missing players like Pogba, Fagioli and of course Chiesa was on and off.”

Federico Chiesa had one of his better games in the last couple of months, and was an absolute terror for Roma in the first half.

“This was a game that suited Chiesa, as Roma allowed us space and we should’ve had more cross-field passes to make the most of that width. We started doing that well, then got a bit pig-headed and didn’t put the right balls in.”

Did Allegri think a decision on his future would be made by the time Juve return to Stadio Olimpico to take on Atalanta in the Coppa Italia Final?

“I don’t know, you’d have to ask the club. The important thing is for us to focus on the Coppa Italia Final and hopefully we’ll come back here with the Champions League already achieved.

“I realise the headlines about ‘Allegri’s future’ are all the rage in these weeks, but there’s not long to go until the end of the season. The only place where nobody asks me if I’m staying next season is when I return home to Livorno.”

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