Sami Khedira concludes “sometimes you need setbacks” after Juventus were beaten by Genoa on Sunday.
The Bianconeri simply didn’t show up at the Marassi, and were 3-0 down after half an hour, before a second-half Miralem Pjanic free-kick restored a semblance of respectability to the scoreline.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side have lost three Serie A matches this season, each of them coming after they’d been involved in midweek Champions League action.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard that,” Khedira admitted when Sky put the stat to him.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s down to concentration. They were certainly all tough matches: Genoa, Milan and Inter; but I think the latter two are different to the defeat to Genoa.
“We had played better, we had the opportunity to win those games but against Genoa it was different. These things can happen in the course of a season though.
“Sometimes you need setbacks to remind you that you can never lose your concentration. I’m the first to say we have to improve, with the quality of our team we could play better, but we’ve been winning.
“The quality is very, very high and we’d like to express ourselves better for the media, for the fans and for the Coach. So we definitely have to improve.”
Injuries have afflicted the Old Lady in recent weeks, but perhaps the most painful absence is that of Paulo Dybala.
“Dybala has been missing in recent weeks, and he’s a very important player for us. He enriches us with his technical abilities: his left foot, his free-kicks, his corners. He’s a very special player.”
Following the defeat to the Grifone, Juve welcome Atlanta to Turin on Saturday, and the Orobici are on a blistering run of form.
“Atalanta are a very good team, very strong,” Khedira acknowledged.
“In my opinion they can dream of being the new Leicester. We’re Juventus though, and we have our own dreams, on Saturday we have to beat them. That’s our objective.
“We saw them against Roma, they’re a very strong side, very tricky and they never give up.
“After the first half they could have been two, three goals down but then they won. They have a great mentality, and it won’t be easy for us.”