Andrea Pirlo explains what went wrong for Juventus this season and their biggest regrets, but after beating Napoli 2-1, he insists he’d ‘make all those mistakes again.’
Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala secured the 2-1 victory, aside from a late Lorenzo Insigne penalty in Turin, during this head-to-head for fourth place.
“When you have this spirit, when you sacrifice yourself to cover for your teammate who is out of position, this is the result and it’s perhaps what we were missing in other games,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“We had practiced this approach with two wide wingers, creating space for Chiesa and Cuadrado. I am just sorry we didn’t make more of the counter-attacks, because we should’ve scored more goals.
“I tried to drill this style of football into the team from the start of the season, but we played every three days until recently, the players kept changing and we didn’t really have time to work on it.
“We were often not quite fired up enough against the teams lower down the table and unconsciously were distracted, trying to resolve those games with individual moves rather than as a team.
“We learned that we cannot afford to do that, we need to give our all in every match, as every Serie A fixture is tough against well-organised teams.”
The pressure is building on Pirlo, with reports suggesting that the coach would be fired if he lost today’s rescheduled Week 3 game.
“I knew this was the job of a coach before I took over, so I was not unprepared. Having positive COVID cases just before the game and doubts right to the end wasn’t helpful, but we’ve been in this situation all season.
“Missing a player like Dybala for such a long period of time is obviously going to be a problem for any team. The others did well, but the more options to call upon, the better.”
Will Dybala remain?
“He has a year left on his contract, we’ll see.”
Pirlo looked back over the season so far, seeing Inter 11 points clear at the top of the Serie A table, and was asked about his regrets.
“I made many mistakes, but I’d make them all again. This is my first season, I needed those experiences for the present and the future.
“This was a more complicated campaign not just for me, but for many other coaches too. Everyone makes mistakes, including me, but I can learn from those and not repeat them in future.
“Our objective now is a top four finish, because it’s difficult to get to the top. There are 10 games to go, it’s a mini-season we hope to win, and then prepare for the Coppa Italia.”
Is the biggest regret Serie A or the Champions League?
“Both really, as when you are at Juventus, you don’t choose objectives, you have to get them all. We had the opportunity to go forward in the Champions League, as Porto were on our level, but we didn’t play the right way.
“In the weeks after that, we also lost to Benevento and that took us out of the Scudetto race. Watching last night’s Champions League game really angered us, because we know that we could’ve been one of them.”