Giuseppe Iachini called for his Fiorentina side to make sure their concentration levels are extra high when they travel to Udinese on Saturday evening as the Viola boss appeared at his pre-match press conference at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Friday.
“I’ve experienced it both as a player and as a coach,” began Iachini. “I’ve been going over this all week with the lads. It’s a different kind of game – it’s not really football because you don’t have the environmental factors, like when you arrive at the ground and you hear the match atmosphere.
“I’ve asked the team to be even more focused and alert for the full 90 minutes because it will feel more like a training game as there won’t be that pressure and tension that you pick up on from the outside. There won’t be that atmosphere you feel from start to finish, so we need to create that ourselves.”
In terms of the match itself, Iachini warned the Viola to expect a tough test at Dacia Arena.
“It’s going to be a tough game because we’re away at a difficult ground,” he said. “We’re up against a team that has been playing together for two years and is really familiar. [Luca] Gotti is doing a great job and he was there last year too, so he knows he’s players well. He’s made them compact and brought in some shape. They’re a tough, physical side that come out and get at you. It’s difficult to find a way through team to score.
“At the same time, they’re very good at attacking the space because they’ve got quick players up front in [Stefano] Okaka and [Kevin] Lasagna, as well as some quality midfielders like [Rodrigo] De Paul, [Seko] Fofana and [Rolando] Mandragora. They have good wide players and are dangerous from set plays.
“We need to be focused because it’s a very tricky game tactically. We need to have the right mentality and application from the off. Our organisation needs to be perfect both in defence and when we have the ball, because we need to cut down the mistakes we make when bringing the ball out – that’s where the game will be played. If we lose the ball too much Udinese are very good on the break.”
Iachini also confirmed that the general fitness levels within the squad are improving.
“We’re progressing and lots of the players are getting into good physical and mental condition, not just [Federico] Chiesa,” he said. “The attitude and confidence are improving too. We’re on the right track. We still have a few players we’re working to get back after some recent issues, but we’re coming through that. We look to the future with confidence – that’s the way we want to be. We need to be organised and have the right intensity, mentality and concentration.”
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