This is what Coach Roberto D’Aversa had to say on the eve of Juventus vs. Parma:
“I’m still angry about the match against Cagliari. Luckily, there’s another game coming up straight away, which has made me think less about the last one and more about the next one. Ever since my playing days, I haven’t taken defeat well. For inexplicable reasons, we’ve thrown away points that would have changed our league position.
“For the rest of the reason, our approach will be the same as it was before Cagliari. It was a six-pointer and we knew just how important it was. Right now, we have to give our all in every single match. After the huge blow against Cagliari, we’ll be playing a game that we know the city and our fans care about. Irrespective of what has just happened and our chances of achieving our objective, we need to go to Turin and play our game. We’re aware of how important this is, also in terms of measuring ourselves up against a side that is stronger than we are. We need to display maximum commitment in the knowledge that all of our remaining matches are vital in terms of reaching our goal. Although things aren’t looking great, it’s still not mathematically impossible.
“Immediately returning to action will help a lot on a mental level. Then, there’s the fact that if we had to motivate a Serie A side that is about to play Juve then something wouldn’t be right. Every child that dreams of playing football also dreams of playing matches like this one. I think it’s clear to everyone that we dominated against Cagliari. We played really well until the 90th minute and had chances to increase our lead. However, we then dropped too deep on crosses, with this very likely being a mental problem as a result of our position in the league.
“I’m the first to feel responsible for the fact that we didn’t manage to get a result after playing like we did. From my point of view, I need to think about why I haven’t been able to successfully transmit a certain characteristic of mine and one which the team always previously had, which is carrying on and never giving up until the end. Given that it’s happened so often – five times if I’m not mistaken – points have been lost that would have seen us move out of the relegation zone. I need to think about this, I feel responsible for it.
“I hope that we can play with a bit more calmness and clarity. I’ve always asked the team to go out and play without thinking too much about the table, which doesn’t mean not being determined. If we can’t get to the guy putting the cross – knowing how good Cagliari’s forwards are in the air – or if we aren’t strong in the tackle, this influenced the final result. We need to be proud against Juve and go out there and play while respecting the glorious shirt that we wear until the end of the season. They’ll be hungry to win after a late defeat against Atalanta. If Cristiano Ronaldo is back with Dybala, they’ll want to score and will be expecting to put three or four past us. We just need to focus on tomorrow evening. They’ve won the Scudetto nine times in a row, they’re going through a difficult period but are growing.
“I’m not going to talk about that episode with Kurtic at the end of the match. I haven’t spoken to him because everyone’s mood after the game was not ideal. We all need to step up. Bruno Alves has a family issue so won’t be in the squad.
“When last season ended, I held some talks with the Club. We had to discuss the progress made since being in Lega Pro and there was a team that needed to be reinforced. That said, the Club then chose to go in a different direction. At the end of the season, we’ll take stock of where we maybe went wrong and what we could do better.
“The league finishes after the final minute of the final game. Before Cagliari, I said that it was a vital game and the winner would have a better chance. At the same time, I said that if we lose, we can still win our next three games and then it’s all to play for again. Losing to a late goal can make you think more negatively, but we need to go out there with greater desire than our opponents. I always look to improve personally and improve any problems within the team. If each player thinks that responsibility belongs to somebody else, we won’t win many games.”
(Photo Getty Images)