Capello unconcerned after Inter cut Juve's lead

January 19, 2006

ROME, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Juventus coach Fabio Capello said he saw no reason to be worried after his side's lead at the top of Serie A was cut to eight points following a 1-1 draw with Chievo Verona.

Wednesday's result, which put Juve on 53 points from 20 matches, allowed Inter Milan to close the gap with a 1-0 victory over Treviso. AC Milan lie third on 43 points after a 1-0 win against Ascoli.

'If this was supposed to be an alarm bell, it hasn't rung yet,' Capello was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.

The draw against a lively Chievo side was only the third time this season that the Italian champions had dropped points in Serie A following a 3-1 defeat to Milan in October and a 1-1 draw with Lazio in December.

At the weekend they reached the halfway point of the season with a 10-point advantage over Inter, prompting some Italian papers to announce that Juve had 'killed' the championship.

After the draw with Chievo, Capello simply repeated his mantra that the title race still had a long way to run.

'They (Inter and Milan) have gained two points on us. It's only right that they are happy. But I think they were thinking positively even before this round of matches,' he said.

'The championship is not over yet. We are only just past the midway stage.'

On Sunday Juventus can resume their winning run against Empoli, who have earned just two points in their last seven matches. Inter face a tougher test against in-form Palermo, who beat Parma 4-2 on Wednesday.