Massimiliano Allegri believes Juventus qualifying for the Champions League after being deducted 15 points would be akin to winning three Serie A titles.
Juve have earned 50 points this season, which would be enough to have them second in the table had they not been punished for past financial dealings.
Instead, they are back on 35 points, 12 points outside the Champions League places in seventh.
That remains the Bianconeri’s unlikely aim, but Allegri was keen to outline just how difficult their task is ahead of Sunday’s game at fifth-placed Roma.
“Perhaps my words have been misrepresented,” Allegri said. “I said that the Champions League chase is an impossible, difficult thing.
“That said, the team at the moment has made 50 points. On the field, we are doing well and we must continue.
“Even among those in front, one will miss out between Inter, Milan, Lazio and Roma. One is left outside, and there is also Atalanta still behind who have the possibility to return.
“There are 42 points at stake, right? Everything is still to be played, so we have to take one step at a time. We can’t look too far ahead, and we have to work for ‘mini’ goals.”
However, Allegri was then asked what the scale of that achievement would be. Is it similar to winning a Scudetto?
“Going with minus-15 into the Champions League is not like winning a Scudetto,” he replied. “It would be like winning three.”
Juve have won six of their past seven away Serie A games and three of their last four league matches against Roma.
The Giallorossi face being without Jose Mourinho following a suspension due to his red card in their previous game.
But Allegri said: “I would be sorry if he wasn’t there. I hope to see him on the pitch.
“In my opinion, once the coach is thrown out of the game, you can give him a fine, then the next time he has to be on the bench. With fines, you can maybe help those in need.”