Juventus boss determined to qualify for Champions League ‘one way or another’

By Sports Desk April 06, 2024

Massimiliano Allegri says playing in next season’s Champions League is essential for his Juventus youngsters to develop.

Juve ended a four-game winless run on Tuesday by beating Lazio 2-0 in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final.

A dip in league form – Juventus have not won in Serie A since edging out Frosinone 3-2 at home on February 25 – has left Allegri’s third-placed side with a seven-point advantage over Roma in fifth.

“In the Champions League you have to get there, one way or another,” manager Allegri said ahead of Sunday’s visit from mid-table Fiorentina.

“We have good players who get better the more they play.

“And next year with the Champions League there would be at least eight international level matches which can help the kids grow even more.

“There are players who need time, to put in matches with Juventus and international matches.”

Allegri insisted his squad have continued to grow, despite a sticky patch which saw league defeats at Lazio and Napoli and home draws with Atalanta and Genoa.

He said: “Boys grow by playing. Regardless of this last period where we dropped points along the way, it doesn’t mean that the boys haven’t grown.

“The team has always trained well, but as often happens, victories help and give confidence.

“Now we have eight league games left, we need to earn the points needed to achieve the Champions League objective.

“The positive result makes you see everything differently. It (Fiorentina) will be a good test of character.”

Fiorentina also won the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final in midweek by beating Atalanta 1-0 at home.

Allegri said: “They played a good game against Atalanta, so we know the difficulties of this match.

“But we have another opportunity to consolidate our position and my only thought is to achieve the objectives together with the team and finish the season in the best way possible.

“We have to fight, we have to struggle. We must have the conviction and the clear idea that we have eight games in the league to achieve this.

“We know that from here to the end of the campaign there will be difficulties, but one way or another we have to get there.”

Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik remains sidelined with a muscle injury that is expected to keep him out for another two to three weeks.

Fiorentina have won only once in six league outings, with no Serie A success on the road since a 1-0 victory at Monza three days before Christmas.

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