Allegri eyes end to Juventus woes - 'Talking about long-term goals makes no sense'

By Sports Desk September 21, 2021

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has demanded his team win at last in Serie A as they bid to avoid their worst five-game start to a season for 66 years.

Allegri takes Juve to Spezia on Wednesday, having snatched just two points from his first four league games in charge, a far cry from what he was looking for on his return to the top job.

Juventus have only once begun a Serie A season without winning any of their opening five fixtures, and that was in the 1955-56 season.

This is the fourth time they have strung together four without a victory at the start of a campaign, and Allegri called on his players to make sure the wait goes on no longer.

"Our technical qualities will have to come out in the long run," Allegri said. "We have to win, and then we will begin to see things differently.

"At this moment, talking about long-term goals makes no sense, the only thing to do is to beat Spezia. We have to take it one step at a time."

Juventus looked like winning game four of their domestic campaign as Alvaro Morata gave them an early lead against Milan on Sunday, but Ante Rebic equalised late on to secure a 1-1 draw.

Consequently, Juve sat third-bottom heading into the midweek games and will face a Spezia side buoyed by a first win of the campaign at the weekend, away at Venezia.

 

Allegri returned to begin a second spell as head coach in the close season, replacing the sacked Andrea Pirlo, but it has been far from smooth sailing so far.

"Compared to the match against Milan there will be some changes," Allegri told a news conference, ahead of the trip to Spezia. "We're playing every three days and some players will have played six to seven matches in a row between the national team and Juventus. Spezia won in Venice by creating a lot of chances, they are a carefree team that play without excessive worries. Playing in their stadium is not easy."

Allegri said his team are "still making too many technical mistakes" and pointed to them failing to win a string of loose balls midway through the Milan game.

The "feverish" Giorgio Chiellini misses out for Juve, but Allegri confirmed Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Chiesa, substitutes against Milan, would start.

He wants to see more from Chiesa, who shone for Italy at Euro 2020 but has had a shaky start for his club this term.

In the second year of his loan from Fiorentina, Chiesa has played just 100 minutes and started only one domestic league game so far in 2021-22, creating two chances for others and having three shots, each of which went on target.

He awaits a first goal or assist in Serie A this season, having managed nine in each column last term.

"He must understand how to manage himself for 90 minutes, when to accelerate and when to brake," Allegri said. "And we all have to grow. So do I.

"You don't need to hammer the players. You need to understand what to do to grow. We are working together to reach important goals, both at the level of team results and personal growth."

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