Soccer-Criticism is welcome but Juventus must stay calm – Allegri

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Spezia v Juventus - Stadio Alberto-Picco, La Spezia, Italy - September 22, 2021 Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri after the match REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

(Reuters) - Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri brushed off criticism for his side's poor start to the Serie A season on Saturday and called for calm ahead of Sunday’s clash with Sampdoria.

The Turin club failed to win any of their opening four games of the league season for the first time since 1961, but ended that run with a 3-2 victory at Spezia on Wednesday.

"I prefer not to be pitied. I want to be criticised a lot, but as a winner," Allegri told a news conference.

"You have compassion for someone who someone who is unwell, not someone who is well. It is a rule of life, like it or not."

Allegri faces a big week ahead, as Samp’s visit is followed by a Champions League game against European champions Chelsea on Wednesday and the Turin derby against Torino on Saturday.

Juventus, record 36-times Italian champions, go into the weekend in 12th place and are 10 points behind league leaders Napoli after five rounds.

"The results are missing, because that is how you build self-confidence. We have an important week ahead of us now, but for now we must think about Sampdoria, who are a great team with a good coach. It will not be simple," he said.

"We have to start climbing the league table, then everything will improve. We need to stay calm. Unfortunately we have dropped points and this must not happen. But turning around the game against Spezia was a positive."

Allegri revealed that Adrien Rabiot will miss the Samp game with an ankle injury, while goalkeeper Mattia Perin will get a chance to start ahead of Wojciech Szczesny.

"We need to recover energy, a lot of players have played six or seven games in a row, so there will be changes," he said.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Ed Osmond)

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