Turin: Italian football giants Juventus skipper Gianluigi Buffon said the defending champions might only be fifth in Serie A standings but sent a strong warning to their rivals that they will still mount a strong title defence.
Juventus endured a slow start to their campaign with defeats in their opening two matches. But Massimiliano Allegri's men have since picked up pace and won 2-0 against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday. But for Buffon, the hard work has only just begun.
Napoli lead the standings with 31 points from 14 matches. Juventus have 27 from 15 matches.
"We’re not done yet. These are important but small steps at the moment. We may be fourth by Sunday but that still isn’t enough," Buffon was quoted as saying by club's official website on Friday.
"Even after tonight, we still haven’t achieved anything yet. We won a very difficult encounter that keeps us moving forward on the right path but let’s not forget, even if all the results go our way tomorrow, we’ll still only be in fourth place."
"Juventus just don’t finish fourth, we’re better than that. Something has clicked in the last few weeks. We are a team that is not used to being off the pace in the league and one that is also well aware of our winning past. We’re starting to move in the right direction now and to gel as a squad. That’s all there is to it, there’s no secret formula," he said.
Forward Paulo Dybala's has been in scintillating form and has sen his stature rise in Italian football and said he is enjoying his rich haul.
"We’re getting to understand each other better with every match and I’m starting to learn with each match. Mario Mandzukic’s physical attributes are crucial, he occupies defenders and drags them out of position for me to attack the spaces that are left behind," he said.
"I’m working hard to improve all the time and with the support of my team-mates and the coach, that task is made so much easier," Dybala said.