Parma, 9 November 2019 – Ahead of tomorrow’s match against Roma, Coach D’Aversa met with journalists in the press room at the Collecchio Training Centre.

Here is what he had to say:

“In regard to the last match Riccardo Gagliolo and Andreas Cornelius are both back up to speed and they both played a role in the away game in Florence. Bruno Alves will be on the bench tomorrow, he will be taken into consideration if needs be. Laurini will be on the bench as well, but only because he asked to be in and around the team. He will be on the bench but he still isn’t ready to play. The rest of the team trained well, tomorrow we must have the desire to get a positive result in order to get a prestigious victory: we’ve done well so far this year but we’re missing a victory against a big team. We came close against Inter, we’re still optimistic and we’ll do everything possible to try and get a result tomorrow, the guys would really deserve it after everything they’ve done this week.”

Roma are a complete team in all aspects: they are structured and they’ve shown it with the eight goals they’ve scored from set-pieces. They have high-quality players, they have athletic players like Kluivert and Zaniolo. They are a complete team, but they have some players missing just like we do. People aren’t really talking about Roma, they’re third, they’re a quality side; people aren’t talking about their coach who’s experiencing Italian football for the first time. Fonesca is doing really well, he has improved the team defensively: he quickly sorted out any holes in the defence which were maybe there at the beginning of the season. He’s also very good at reading the game: tomorrow we are facing a strong and in-form team. They’re coming off the back of a defeat in Europe but we will need to be good in every aspect because Roma have the tools to hurt us in various situations.”

“There needs to be intensity on our side, when you’re faced with a team that can dribble well, who are strong in possession and in the transition you need to be good defensively: both in pressing when the situation demands it and in sitting off and holding a defensive shape. When you’re playing deep it doesn’t mean that you can lose the determination and intensity, because they have players who offer a goal threat from outside the area. Intensity will be very important tomorrow, as well as the courage and the desire to get a result against a strong team. I’d like us to get a result tomorrow both for the boost to morale and the boost in the table.”

“There are specific things you need to take care of in any match: we know that they have technical players and that will be reflected in my initial choices, how we can fight for each centimetre in the middle of the pitch. But these situations can be analysed during the game. Specifically beyond having good players they have a structure, we will need to be excellent in who we mark, where we take our precautions. The desire to win individual duels makes the difference, both in the air and on the ground.”

“Scozzarella with the national team? Selfishly speaking I would have preferred fewer call-ups: I’m pleased for the guys who are summoned by their national teams but in this moment – seeing as it’s been talked about so much this week, maybe too much, and there are young players like Kulusevski are caught up in the middle – our only goal has to be tomorrow’s game. Every player starts his career with aim of playing for his country, I hope that it will happen for the other but I repeat: we now need to think about tomorrow’s match against Roma.”

“Roma’s 4-2-3-1 can be clearly seen in the defensive phase: when they build their attacks they often make a back three with two midfielders in front of it. They make the three by tucking in one of the full-backs or dropping in one of the midfielders, specifically Mancini. As a result, if Mancini drops back, Pastore moves into his position. They then have this 3-2 setup and they then have four or five players directly in the attack. Their attack is led by Dzeko who is excellent at attacking the heart of the defence. Their full-backs are very involved in their build-up, their movement doesn’t give you many points of reference. They move to occupy the wide areas and therefore they are able to cross. But they also pose a threat from central areas with Zaniolo, Kluivert and even Pastore. So clearly it’s not going to be a simple match from a defensive point of view. This coach’s history shows that his teams play good football. They had some problems conceding goals early on but they’ve got better and therefore it’s not going to be an easy match, but I want us to go onto the pitch wanting to get a result against a big team.”

“When they have possession they can hurt you: intensity and high pressure will be important in keeping them away from the dangerous areas where they can cause us problems. We will need to be good at reading the game: sometimes we will need to press and sometimes we will have to drop off. The preparation we’ve done can give the team a hand and some order, then it will be up to them to read the game and interpret the situations they find themselves in during the game.”

We’re getting Cornelius back but losing Karamoh. We’re used to it, we’ve had difficulties from the start in terms of numbers. We’re also seeing things that are happening now in the first half of this season which happened in the latter half of last season. This shouldn’t cause any doubts about what the guys are doing because they’re doing something important. We don’t feel disappointed or satisfied, we always have the desire to improve. The best of this team always comes out in times of adversity and desire is what matters to me. After, there will be a chance to take time off and some will have the fortune of playing international football but all of our energies must go into this game and looking to get back what we let slip against Inter and Fiorentina.”

Dejan Kulusevski is very young, a lot has already been said about how well he’s doing. Big clubs were interested in him and he’s been called up by the senior national side. We meed to do well to not burden him with too many responsibilities. He’s showing that he’s mature for his age but we have to do a good job of protecting him so he only focuses on the current moment which is the match tomorrow and he deserves all of the rest. By coming from the great school of Atalanta, he played three times for the first team last year but never as a starter and we’ve done well as a Club to believe in him and he did well to show me from the start that I could count on him right from the start. I find it hard to think of a player who has so quickly progressed from Primavera football to make such an impact in Serie A in recent years. This has to be reason for him to want to keep improving but he still has great margins to improve. He needs to make more of an impact with goals and assists. The result could have been different in Florence with just a little more accuracy and that doesn’t mean that we didn’t win because of him. Overall, we lacked something in that game and in defence as we could have avoided the goal. This shows that Dejan is a responsible lad and with significant quality and he needs to stay at it as it’s not difficult to arrive at certain points in football but it’s harder to stay there. Will he stay in January? Considering our lack of numbers, I don’t even want to think about starters leaving at this moment.”
Andreas could play from the start, he could have got 20 minutes in Florence but I had to make different evaluations with how the game was going. He’s doing well mentally and physically, he could start and that’s a decision I’ll make late on.”