Coach Gabriele Cioffi spoke to Udinese TV ahead of his side’s league fixture against Fiorentina on Wednesday evening.
Here’s what he had to say:
Udinese haven’t had long since their last game before they now head out for the rescheduled match against Fiorentina. How are the team doing after a good performance against Bologna, and what are you hoping to see from them?
“We’re going into the game knowing that it won’t be easy, but we’re determined and want to grab some points at this very difficult ground.”
With these games coming in quick succession, does it take its toll on the team physically and will you be making some changes as a result?
“The team are doing well both physically and mentally. We will have played five games over two weeks so the most important thing will be to manage our fatigue psychologically, maintain high mental energy levels to stay in the game and read the situation well. In short, we can allow ourselves a little dip physically, but we’ll need to compensate for that by showing 200% concentration.”
What qualities do Fiorentina have and how do you expect them to play after losing in Salerno?
“I’m expecting them to play like the team I’ve seen and followed all year, who are brave, play attacking football and go out to win in an electric atmosphere. It says it all that if it hadn’t been for the result in Salerno, they would have been in the running for a Champions League spot, so we can expect an extremely tough game.”
The Stadio Franchi is not Udinese’s favourite place to visit. The last time the team won there was in November 2007 and they’ve lost in each trip ever since. Does that give you an added motivation?
“Fiorentina have won 11 out of their 17 home games. They had some slip-ups against Inter and Napoli at the start of the season and more recently against Lazio in February, so the Stadio Franchi is always a difficult place to go. We will try to go above and beyond.”
What kind of game will it be for you personally, as someone who was born in Florence? How are you feeling about the match?
“It’s a game that stirs a lot of emotions for me and will be different from the others because Florence is my hometown. My grandfather told me that he’d go to watch the games in his break from work as a bus driver. I still remember the days of Rui Costa, Gabriel Batistuta, Giovanni Trapattoni, the Champions League, Roberto Baggio, but also the game against Benevento straight after the tragic loss of Davide Astori. Certainly, therefore, it won’t be a game like the others, but only until kick-off. From then, Udinese will have 100 minutes to show that we want to bring home the points and in order to so, we’ll need to put in a great performance, showing real desire and commitment.”