Fiorentina boss Paulo Sousa spoke to the press after his side’s 2-0 victory over Bologna at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Sousa was first asked whether he could have expected Fiorentina to be second in the table after five rounds of matches: "We can and we want to compete against anyone, but at the same time we’re realistic. We’re improving but we’re going to meet teams that are desperate to win along the way. I try to be very clear and honest with the fans and with the team. Lots of teams have invested a huge amount of money to win, but we will never give up."
Turning his attentions to the win over Bologna, Sousa declared: "No two matches are ever the same and I’m seeing a team that believes in itself and is trying to implement our philosophy. We tried to play on the wings this evening, something we didn’t do against Carpi. In the first half we did well and were in full control of the game – the only thing missing was a goal. We were a threat up front for the entire match."
Asked whether the Basel defeat had helped spur the team on, Sousa replied: "No defeat is a good thing – nobody likes losing. I want to transform our nervousness into ambition and courage. We need to have patience. The players are starting to understand each other – it’s a work in progress."
Sousa was bullish about his side’s prospects this season: "We know what we’re capable and we won’t be giving in without a fight. There’s a long season ahead are there’ll be lots of obstacles along the way, but we’ll try to do our best. We need to maintain our consistency and improve the technical and tactical attributes of our players."
There was also a word on Ante Rebic, who was handed a chance to impress against Bologna: "Rebic and the other youngsters will get their chances. He was ready to play before tonight. There has to be competition in a team – all of the players need to be ready."
Finally, Sousa spoke of the importance of the Viola fans: "Criticism helps us to improve – in a city like Florence the fans have an important role. Without them we can’t achieve anything."