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The 39-year-old boss may have seen his charges eliminated from the Europa League but he was proud of the character his team showed throughout

Although Fiorentina fell to a 1-0 home loss to Juventus on Thursday that saw the hosts crash out of the Europa League, coach Vincenzo Montella was quick to defend his hard-working side.

La Viola had an away-goal advantage from a 1-1 first-leg result in Turin, but a trademark Andrea Pirlo free kick sealed progression for the Bianconeri in the return fixture.

Despite going out, the 39-year-old boss spoke highly of his charges for their efforts during the tie.

"I have to congratulate my team," Montella told Mediaset. "They did their best and we came close to victory – especially in the first half when we had three chances to score.

"We've lost players [due to injury], but the sacrifices the team has made has seen us overcome those difficulties by taking responsibility.

"Tomorrow, we must turn to a new page. We still have an important chapter left of this season. We must be convinced of our own abilities in the league."

Fiorentina must move on quickly from their loss as they prepare for a crunch clash with Rafa Benitez's third-placed Napoli in Serie A on Sunday.
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