Saturday January 29 2011
Del Neri: 'Juve are not in free-fall'

Gigi Del Neri insists Juventus “are not in free-fall. We're still on track for our planned objectives.”

Their chances of achieving any silverware this season are extremely slim after elimination from the Europa League and Coppa Italia.

“From the outside, people see the glass half-empty. From the inside, we consider it to be half-full,” assured the Coach ahead of Sunday's clash with on-form Udinese.

“It's not true that we are out of the running for everything. In the League we're still on track for our planned objectives, which is to remain close to the leading group ahead of the final sprint for a Champions League spot.

“Juve deserve respect for what they are doing. If the teams just above us are considered to be in great shape, then why should Juventus be described as in free-fall?

“So far I cannot rebuke my team for anything. We take responsibility in front of our fans and are disappointed by the elimination from the Europa League and Coppa Italia, but we can still do well. It's not as if Juve get to the Coppa Final every year usually...”

Confidence hit rock bottom after Thursday's 2-0 home defeat to Roma in the quarter-final.

“That match left some important damage, as Simone Pepe, Amauri and Marco Motta picked up knocks. We're trying to scoop together as many players as we can to construct a football team.”

It is a particularly tough task this weekend, as Udinese are fresh from inflicting the first defeat on Leonardo's Inter.

“Udinese are a side in great shape and picked up six points from their last two Serie A games. In that same period, we got four, so not too shabby,” continued Del Neri.

“The Friulani played excellent football even when they weren't picking up points. We played a good game when we last met and have to once again play our football.”

Juve won 4-0 at the Stadio Friuli back on September 19, during a period when Udinese fell to four consecutive defeats.