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Juve must forget about Champions League exit, we are on right track – Allegri – Reuters

Soccer Football – Champions League – Juventus v Villarreal – Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy – March 16, 2022 Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reacts REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

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TURIN, Italy, March 19 (Reuters) – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri called on his side to forget about their midweek Champions League exit, saying they were on the “right track” at the moment.

A disappointing 3-0 defeat at home to Villarreal in their Champions League last-16 second leg on Wednesday saw Juve fall at the same stage for the third successive season, leaving them to focus only on domestic matters.

Ahead of their clash with Serie A’s bottom side Salernitana on Sunday, the division’s most successful club are fourth in the standings, seven points behind leaders AC Milan, but Allegri remains happy with what he is seeing.

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“We must immediately erase the Champions League exit and close this period in the best possible way to try to stay three points behind Inter (Milan, in third) and play the direct match at home,” Allegri told a news conference on Saturday.

“I have nothing to clarify. Together with the club we are on a journey and we have laid a good foundation.

“I think we are on the right track and we have also found our way of playing. It doesn’t take much to destroy things, so you have to be very careful.”

Allegri said there was better news on the injury front, with veteran defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini both back fit after spells on the sidelines — good news for the national side ahead of Italy’s World Cup playoff next week.

“I don’t think anyone expected a 3-0 defeat in the 70th minute, that’s football,” Allegri added. The positive now is that after the (international) break we will have all the players available, except (Federico) Chiesa and (Weston) McKennie.

“Bonucci, Chiellini and (Paulo) Dybala are all in a much better condition. We have the opportunity to play the last few games with the whole squad and I think it’s an advantage.”

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Reporting by Peter Hall; editing by Clare Fallon

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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