CROTONE, Italy (Reuters) - Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo was left to fret over two more dropped points and the “carelessness” of his team on Saturday after they were held 1-1 at promoted Crotone, who had lost all their previous Serie A games this season.
Just as they did in the 2-2 draw at AS Roma three weeks ago, Juve had a player sent off midway through the second half -- this time Federico Chiesa -- leaving them with an uphill battle.
“Unfortunately, in the last two matches we have been reduced to ten men due to our carelessness so we had to battle through. But we are a young team that needs more work,” said Pirlo.
Pirlo was handed his first coaching role in August after Juve sacked Maurizio Sarri and said he had still had little time to work with his team which includes several young new signings such as Chiesa, Dejan Kulusevski and Weston McKennie.
American midfielder McKennie was missing on Saturday having returned a positive test for COVID-19, as was Cristiano Ronaldo who tested positive on duty with the Portugal national team.
“We have worked very little in these first few months, the players have been on the national team and the youngsters need to gain experience playing these first games,” he said.
“So there are going to be moments of carelessness, it happens -- we have a young, quality team which is still under construction, so we need time and the youngsters need to make mistakes. We haven’t had time to oil the machine.”
Juventus, chasing a 10th straight title, have eight points from four games and have dropped four behind leaders AC Milan.
“We knew there would be many teams fighting for the title, it will be a battle day-by-day,” said former Juve midfielder Pirlo. “We have to pick up points. Unfortunately we are losing some on the road but we will be back in front soon”.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.