Embattled Ranieri receives Juventus backing
Embattled Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri has been handed what amounts to a vote of confidence from club administrator Jean-Claude Blanc despite the club's recent poor run of form.
Juve have failed to win in their last four games and stand in 11th position in the Serie A standings and Bianconeri fans are growing impatient, but Blanc insists Ranieri is the right man to lead the club.
''I understand the concerns of the fans,'' Blanc told the club's official website. ''But we will not make a coaching change. We have complete trust in Ranieri just as the Juve president said on Sunday. I can confirm that 100%.
''With Ranieri, with his coaching staff, with the medical staff we will analyse the situation in order to find solutions to see Juve return to be the team that we saw at the end of August.''
Incredibly the Turin-based giants have not sacked a coach since October 1969 when Juve showed the door to Argentinian Luis Carniglia. Since then coaches have either stepped down, as was the case of Marcello Lippi, Fabio Capello and Didier Deschamps, or not had their contracts extended.
Juventus poor form can be partially explained by a string of injuries, chief amongst them being French striker David Trezeguet, who underwent knee surgery last month and will be sidelined until next year.
Ranieri's injury troubles deepened at the weekend after goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and winger Mauro Camoranesi sustained injuries in the 2-1 home defeat to Palermo. Buffon will be out of action for a month while Camoranesi will have to rest for at least three weeks.
Despite those setbacks, Blanc believes Juve will emerge from their current slump: ''Juventus has the capacity, the history, the inner strength to come out and continue a project that will make our fans proud to be Bianconeri supporters.''
After the coming round of international fixtures Juve can expect little sympathy on the pitch as they travel to Napoli on October 18 before hosting Spanish champions Real Madrid in the Champions League three days later.