Marcelo Lippi has admitted that he has been left surprised and disappointed by Antonio Conte's resignation as Juventus coach but nonetheless has the utmost confidence in new boss Massimiliano Allegri.
Conte took charge of the Bianconeri in the summer of 2011 and led the Old Lady to three successive Serie A titles before sensationally parting company with the Turin club by mutual consent last month.
The former Juve midfielder declined to explain precisely why he believed it "might become more difficult to keep winning" and Lippi remains somewhat shocked by Conte's sudden exit.
"I'm a little surprised by his farewell," the ex-Bianconeri boss told Tuttosport.
"I always supported Conte. I hoped that he'd stay at Juve for many years. I would have been happy to see him at the head of more winning cycles.
"But if he had certain feelings, well, his choice has to be respected. But I hope to see Conte at Juventus again in the future."
However, Lippi still believes that Allegri will prove a worthy successor - despite the reservations of some Juve fans, who were less than impressed with the club's decision to turn to the former AC Milan trainer.
"I have great faith in him," the World Cup-winning coach stated. "When you coach Milan, Inter or Juve, it's always hard, not only because of the history.
"But Allegri has worked at a club of a very high level, at Milan, and he has also won the Scudetto [in his first season at San Siro].
"The fans will have patience. They are, before everything else, in love with their squad. And they had success with [two former Milan coaches in Carlo] Ancelotti and [Fabio] Capello."