Thursday August 22 2013
Del Neri hails reinforced Juventus

Gigi Del Neri says former club Juventus have to be considered as favourites for Scudetto glory in 2013-14.

“After watching them in the Italian Super Cup Final against Lazio, you have to see them as that,” the out of work tactician told the Corriere dello Sport after the 4-0 demolition of Lazio.

“They have quality and character, they have been well forged by their Coach, while they possess security that other teams do not.

“They have also reinforced their squad with intelligence. Their capture of Carlos Tevez was a great piece of business.”

Del Neri spent one season on the Turin hotseat before being replaced by Antonio Conte, a man who has since led the Old Lady to back-to-back titles.

“We wanted to open a new cycle, but things did not go as we would have liked,” he recalled when asked about his Bianconero stint.

“The time wasn’t right and the results were not what the people of Juventus rightly demanded.

“I have no regret though,” he continued. “I still regard it as a positive experience for me and I’m happy I got the chance to Coach them.

“I hold on to the fact that I launched Frederik Sorensen who still wasn’t 18, while Gigi Buffon returned to world class levels after his six months out because of back surgery.

“We were weighed down by injuries, a lack of experience and the fatigue of the Europa League. We lost our balance and we threw countless games away…”

Del Neri’s Juve finished seventh.