Soccer-Allegri urges Juve to stay focused on top-four race

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Fiorentina v Juventus - Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy - November 5, 2023 Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reacts REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo

(Reuters) - Juventus are aiming to finish in Serie A's top four and talk of a title tilt is premature, manager Massimiliano Allegri said on Thursday.

Juve have enjoyed a promising start to the season and are second in the table on 30 points after 13 matches, two behind leaders Inter Milan.

Allegri's side could provisionally go top of the table when they visit Monza on Friday.

"We must all have the ambition to desire something important, but now the most important thing is the Monza match," Allegri told reporters.

"We always have to look at fifth in the standings and have to watch our backs to maintain the gap from the teams behind us.

"However, this cannot be done with the result of a single match: the championship is a marathon, not a sprint."

Allegri added that the team still has a long season ahead and that aiming for a top-four position remains the club's ambition.

"Being two points behind Inter is a source of pride, but again, we haven't achieved anything yet," he said.

"For everyone's good we must aim for fourth place."

Allegri said that Danilo and Alex Sandro were available to face Monza, while the club would evaluate Manuel Locatelli's fitness on Thursday.

Monza completed a league double over Juve last season and Allegri was full of praise for their coach Raffaele Palladino.

"It won't be easy in Monza and we've known this since last year: they are the only team that took six points off of us last season and we didn't find a way to score against them," he said.

"Palladino is doing very well and I am sure that in his growth and evolution he can only improve, not only on the pitch but also off it: he can have an excellent career."

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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