Juventus are not in the Serie A title race despite their January spending spree, Massimiliano Allegri said on Wednesday, as the coach insisted their focus is on a top-four finish and cup runs.
The Old Lady began the league season sluggishly, but goals from new signings Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria in a 2-0 win over Hellas Verona on Sunday moved them into fourth place and sparked talk of a late title surge.
Juve sit eight points behind leaders Inter Milan, who have a game in hand, and face a key clash against an Atalanta side sitting two points behind them on Sunday.
"The euphoria has returned after Verona. Enthusiasm is good, but not too much. We must work; our objective is to finish in the top four, and to go as far as possible in the cups," Allegri told a news conference.
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"If you want to dream that’s fine, but I don’t like to. The top three are far ahead, given that Inter are potentially 11 points clear.
"We are behind, and our league campaign will be about fighting with Atalanta from now until the end of the season."
Before their trip to Bergamo, Juve host Sassuolo in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Thursday.
The Neroverdi lost 4-0 to Sampdoria at the weekend, and are looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
"Tomorrow is a quarter-final, and this is one of the objectives we have had since the start of the season," Allegri said.
"We are facing an angry Sassuolo side, we will have to play a very serious game, it would help us ahead of the game against Atalanta.”