Juventus have to go shopping

ROME - Under-fire Juventus boss Ciro Ferrara has called for reinforcements to help stem the Turin side's worrying slump in form as he prepares for Sunday's Serie A visit to Chievo Verona.

ROME - Under-fire Juventus boss Ciro Ferrara has called for reinforcements to help stem the Turin side's worrying slump in form as he prepares for Sunday's Serie A visit to Chievo Verona.

Ferrara looks to have averted the immediate danger of dismissal after advancing to the Italian Cup quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Napoli on Wednesday, having reportedly received a vote of confidence from the board earlier in the day.

But his position remains precarious given that last weekend's 3-0 home defeat by AC Milan left Juventus 12 points behind leaders Inter Milan and all but ended their faint title hopes.

They have 33 points from 19 games and share third place with Napoli.

Ferrara's options to engineer a reversal of fortunes have been hampered by injuries to important players such as Gianluigi Buffon, Mauro Camoranesi, Vincenzo Iaquinta and David Trezeguet.

Furthermore, Mohamed Sissoko is at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Angola with Mali.

"Now we'll have to intervene in the transfer market," Ferrara told reporters. "Some players have left and they'll have to be replaced."

Aside from the result on Wednesday, Ferrara will be encouraged by the displays of Brazilian playmaker Diego and captain Alessandro Del Piero.

Diego, who had been a disappointment since arriving in a big-money deal from Werder Bremen in the close season, netted the opener and looked sharp throughout. Del Piero then nailed a brace for his first goals of the season, having had limited playing time so far, in part because of injury.

"Let's hope that this match is the start of a new era," Diego was quoted as saying by yesterday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Recently we got many things wrong, attitude included. We had fun again (against Napoli) and we have to carry on like this." - Reuters

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