Cristiano Ronaldo has told his Juventus team-mates there is “no excuse for anything” and demanded excellence from them on social media.
The Portuguese star’s comments come after the Italian champions were beaten 3-0 by Fiorentina.
It was their worst home defeat since they moved to the Allianz Stadium back in 2011.
Serie A will be put on hold for a period while they enjoy their annual winter break.
When they returned however Juventus will have to haul back at seven-point deficit to league leaders AC Milan.
Ronaldo has won the Serie A title in each of his two seasons in Turin and challenged his team-mates to, once again, retain their crown amid the difficulties.
“Yesterday, with a poor performance and a result far from acceptable, we closed our scheduled games for 2020, a special year in many particular ways,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Empty stadiums, COVID protocols, postponed games, long stoppages and a very tight calendar.
“But this is no excuse for anything. We know that we have to give more of ourselves, in order to play better and to win in a more consistent way. We are Juventus! And we simply cannot accept anything less than excellence on the pitch!
“I hope this short stoppage may help us to come back stronger and more united than ever, because the season is still far from over and in the end we believe that we will, once again, celebrate with our tiffosi.
“Believe in us, trust our team as much as we trust you, and we will deliver!
“Fino Alla Fine!”
Following the reverse against Fiorentina, who had won just twice all season, Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo laid into his players.
“What happened with the red card cannot be used as an alibi,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “The result was not down to Fiorentina’s attitude but the lack of ours.
“When this is the case you face bad situations like this. In games before Christmas it can happen then you have your mind on the holidays. We were unfocused and could not recover.”