Friday February 4 2011
Del Neri still believes in Juve

Juventus boss Gigi Del Neri believes his struggling Old Lady can still qualify for the Champions League this season.

The Bianconeri are six points shy of the top four after a slump in results, but the Coach is confident that his side can rediscover their form.

"We have to fight," he noted on Friday. "Every game is tough but Juve can succeed.

"The most important thing for us is to stay in touch with the teams vying for the Champions League and then having the strength for the final sprint."

Juve lost their second consecutive Serie A game on Wednesday when they fell 2-1 at Palermo, but the Coach saw signs of improvement.

"The morale of the squad is good because they realise that they played well against Palermo," he continued.

"After paying the price for the first 20 minutes, they managed to react in a different manner to the way they did against Udinese.

"The team reacted and battled and I think our performance was helped by the arrival of Alessandro Matri.

"I read some quite embarrassing opinions on Matri's performance, but he had an excellent game and was a focal point for the side."

The on-loan striker, signed on deadline day, will face his former club tomorrow when Juventus take on Cagliari in Sardinia.

"Cagliari will be tough opponents," Del Neri added. "They are a dynamic side who have done well in their previous matches.

"I haven't seen much of a difference since Pierpaolo Bisoli was replaced by Roberto Donadoni, mainly because their squad has remained more or less the same.

"Before it was Matri who made the difference, but they're still a dangerous outfit.

"We have to change gear. Unfortunately this is a period of time for us when things are not going well. We were second or third before the match against Chievo, but then something changed.

"We've suffered injuries and suspensions which have made it difficult for us, but with the recovery of these key figures we'll soon be back on track."

Matri and Alex Del Piero are set to start in attack as Luca Toni is not fully fit after injury.

"Toni may be involved, it depends if we want to risk him. If not, then he'll definitely be in contention for the next game."