At the end of tonight’s match against Genoa, Coach D’Aversa met with journalists in the press room at the Ferraris. Here’s what our Coach had to say:
“With regard to the game, I think that these boys are showing something more compared to last year, where the majority of our players were coming from a season in Serie B or even from the Lega Pro; having said this, I’m very pleased with the performance, we gave them a tiny chance to get back into the game when there wasn’t a need to, and that’s something we can’t allow, because I think that if we analysed our chances created and the football we played, there wouldn’t be any doubt about the result in this game. Having said that, the boys were brilliant at bringing home all three points, something which is a positive from all points of view when you consider we’re coming right off the back of another away game; getting four points from this and the game against Torino, who won today. Some people even thought we should have got more than a point. Coming here and winning like this against a side who’ve earned 14 points from their last nine games is testament to the extraordinary work these guys are doing. Sometimes we take things for granted, but I want to point out that we’re overachieving on what should be possible, if you think about it we’re also missing someone as big as Roberto Inglese, taking away any option we might have had in changing our centre-forward. But we’ve never been ones to make excuses, all we’re focusing on is working hard. It’s not me and my coaching team that we should be focused on, instead I’d like to highlight what my boys on the pitch are achieving.
“Changing our goal? I think that goals should be set by the Club, from that point of view there are other clubs who are more structured in terms of how they pursue certain goals. We don’t set ourselves limits, we go out onto the pitch and try and give our all, we’ve got ambition. It goes without saying that until we’ve achieved our objective of mathematical safety, nothing changes in terms of our match preparation or how we approach individual games. Sometimes your expectations or changes in your goals mean you’re not happy with a draw against Torino, it’s not right that a Parma side who were in Serie D four years ago are turning their noses up at a draw with Torino.
“As for our physical condition, I’ve got to give credit to the boys first and foremost, they all worked as hard as they could during the lockdown and they came back in great shape, I expected a lot worse than was the case when my boys came back. What I always say is that my biggest source of satisfaction isn’t seeing them in games, but rather day in day out on the training pitch. Right from the first day we returned to work, they’ve been training with so much intensity that I haven’t had a single chance to tell them off. Most of the time, how you play on the pitch reflects how you train. I feel very lucky from this point of view. Despite the changes, those who’ve arrived late have the same sense of belonging as those who have been with me since the Lega Pro days, something which is so important. It means that we don’t just have a group of boys who are technically gifted, but that we’ve got human qualities in the side. At the end of the day it’s those which make the difference in achieving your goals.
“The future? I’ll have to focus on this year and think about how best to finish the season together with my boys, tonight was such a big game where we took another big step towards achieving our goals. But it’s important that this doesn’t mean we take our foot off the gas in training. We’re a group of people who always need to stay on the ball; if we work with the same determination, intensity and focus of a team fighting for survival, that will just add to the satisfaction at the end. For the future I’m tied to this Club, to this team. Right now I’m just thinking about improving our position in the table.
“Cornelius is a complete player, despite his physical strength he’s a technical player who can play with the ball. He’s very quick and he’s great at helping the team play by stretching the pitch. He’s coming off the back of a year where he spent four or five months on the sidelines with a bad injury, he still needs pace himself. I wanted to give him a bit of rest tonight but didn’t manage it. He’s injury-prone and we need to be careful to avoid certain types of problems right now. The decision not to start Kucka was down to the fact that I just can’t afford to lose him right now, he’s such an important player to me. He can also play up top instead of Andreas, Kucka’s one of those who could play that position too. I have to say that Kulusevski’s doing very well too. We knew that would be the case because he played for a strong side at Atalanta and he always did well there. In terms of his characteristics as a player, he’s more useful at Parma than at Atalanta, so it was a good move by them to allow him to come here. I like seeing my forwards work hard in both phases of play, and Kulusevski worked so hard for the team as well as scoring a goal today. When your attackers don’t score, you blame the coach because it’s him who’s making them drop back and defend. But he’s proving that that has nothing to do with it, he’s a complete player and we’re very happy to have him here.”
(Photo Getty Images)