Sunday, January 6, 2008


Despite an eight-point deficit to Serie A leaders Internazionale, Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri still believes his side can win the Scudetto this season.

Speaking at the Bianconeri's return to training after a two-week Christmas break, the former Chelsea coach set out his plans for the remaining 21 games of the season.

"Our aim is still the first position in the league," he said.

"However, for a team who won Serie B last season, it is extremely difficult to repeat it in Serie A the year after.

"For this reason, I would be happy and satisfied in the event of finishing second.

"In any case, we have got to give it our best shot."

The Bianconeri have made a remarkable start to life back in the top flight after being condemned to a season in Serie B due to their involvement in the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

Even the change in coach last summer has not knocked them off course with Ranieri successfully building upon the work of his predecessor Didier Deschamps.

However, they are not yet as strong as Ranieri believes they can be.

He said: "We have had lots of injuries and have been without (Mauro) Camoranesi and (Claudio) Marchionni for a long time, not to mention the others.

"Now I expect a bit more during the second half of the season. We can still improve.

"We lost only two games in the first part of the season and we are just lacking that little bit to play with the personality of the true Juve."

Their first game of 2008 takes them to Catania next Sunday.

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