Juventus manager Luigi Delneri has blamed an injury crisis at the Stadio Olimpico for his side’s January struggles.
Juve fell 2-1 at home to Udinese on Sunday, signing off on a bleak January period that saw them lose three of five Serie A fixtures.
The horror run has seen Juve fall to seventh on the table and 12 points adrift of leaders AC Milan, ahead of a difficult string of fixtures against Palermo, Cagliari and Inter Milan.
The proud club are not being helped by a rash of injuries in the squad, with the absence of strikers Fabio Quagliarella, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Luca Toni leaving Delneri’s side desperately thin up front.
Delneri was understandably disappointed after Sunday’s defeat, which came despite Juve leading 1-0 with half an hour to play.
But he said he expected his side to resume their Scudetto campaign once his key players return from injury.
“We’re struggling at the moment, mainly because we haven’t got replacements in certain key areas,” Delneri said.
“The players are still producing good performances though, even when they’re asked to play in different roles. They’ll be playing again on Thursday (at Palermo) and on Sunday (at Cagliari).”
“Now January is over we hope we’ll have some of our important resources back in order to make a final push, since Juventus are always competing for the championship.”
“Of course we should do better, but we also need to get players back otherwise it won’t be possible to improve our performances.”
“You can play well, battle and have a good spirit, but in order to compete for the championship the whole team needs to be available and right now at Juventus we don’t have that. We’re already doing our best though.”
“January has been a negative month, one of the worst months, maybe this is also due to certain personal issues, but it’s definitely been a very bad period.”
“Things have gone really well also considering all the difficulties we’re having now. At the moment we’re paying for even the small mistakes, therefore there is nothing to say.”
“Right now we should have the strength to accept the criticism in these difficult times and focus on the next match.”