Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has stressed the importance of his players remaining mentally strong as they look to secure a league and cup double.
Ahead of Saturday’s Serie A home clash with Bologna, Juve are four points clear of Napoli at the top of the table, with each side having three league games left.
Allegri’s men also face AC Milan in next week’s Coppa Italia final.
Juve’s last three matches have seen them held to a 1-1 draw at Crotone, lose 1-0 at home to Napoli, and then come from behind to beat Inter Milan 3-2 away thanks to two late goals.
Allegri, quoted on juventus.com, said on Friday: “Against Inter we stuck at it and believed right until the end that we could score.
“We had that mental strength to stay in the game despite the scoreline, this shows you that the psychological aspect is always fundamental.
“Right now you have to have a mental strength and a balance that no one can deter you from the ultimate goal.”
Juventus, who Allegri feels “have to get back to defending at our best”, will be confirmed as champions for a seventh successive season if they beat Bologna and Napoli lose on Sunday when they host Torino.
A six-point gap after Sunday’s game would all-but guarantee Juve the Scudetto as, while the clubs’ head-to-head record is identical, the Bianconeri have a superior goal difference.
Allegri added: “The title race is still open, as Napoli are having an extraordinary season.
“We will need to show hard work and desire in order to achieve our objectives, we are nearly at the end of the season.
“Tomorrow we have a game that we have to win and also prepare ourselves for the TIM Cup final.
“Bologna play good football and also have players of quality, they are well organised and will come here and try to give us a good game and attempt to claim what would be for them a historic victory.
“So we must face tomorrow with great determination and respect, as well as remember the points we dropped in Crotone, so we absolutely cannot underestimate our opponents.
“Tomorrow is another important step forwards in order to reach the Scudetto.”
Juve are facing a Bologna side who are currently 12th in the table and have won only one of their last nine games.
Their boss Roberto Donadoni, in quotes posted on Bologna’s official Twitter feed, said: “We know we go to face a great team that has an important goal, for us this will be a motivation.
“We have to play with great aggression trying to limit the personal initiatives of the opponents.”