Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus have achieved two of their season’s goals already, adding that the Italian champions are on track following a difficult start to the campaign.
Juve won just one of their opening six Serie A matches but have recovered to sit sixth in the league ahead of Sunday’s trip to Palermo, Allegri’s men ensuring their place in the Champions League knockout stages with victory over Manchester City in midweek.
With Supercoppa Italiana success and Champions League progression ensured, Allegri says Juve are approaching their best form again.
“At the moment, we come with three straight wins in the league, with qualification in the Champions League, which is the second goal of the season,” he told reporters.
“The first goal was the Super Cup and the second was to qualify in the Champions League. Then we will be in a very good place if we get first in the group, but we will see this in 15 days.
“It is not that in the league our motivation is different from the Champions League. In the championship we had some difficulties. Now the team, regardless of the championship and the Champions League, you can see is better.
“We are playing better games with a different focus and this I think is an important growth for us all.”
Sami Khedira will miss Sunday’s clash with Napoli as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury that flared up again while on international duty.
Like Khedira, fellow midfielder Claudio Marchisio has missed long spells of the season and Allegri is eager to have the pair fit in order to maintain Juve’s upturn in form.
“The difference is that until now we had a few unfortunate injuries, especially in midfield,” he added.
“But we have had major players like Marchisio and Khedira return and so they are two players who can give us a certain strength. We’ve improved physically, in our athletic condition, and we have improved individually at a technical level and as a result the team grows.
“Then in the end what counts is results. The results help you to work in a certain way. It is normal that when results are better, self-esteem grows and improving things becomes more easier.”