Collecchio, 30 June 2020 – On the even of H. Verona vs. Parma, matchday 29 in Serie A TIM which is set to take place tomorrow night at 21:45 CEST at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, Crociati Coach Roberto D’Aversa had the following to say about the upcoming game:

After three games in the space of just a few days, how’s the team doing?
“It’s clear that we’re still waiting until tomorrow to see how some of the players who have played almost every minute are doing. But in terms of fitness the boys are responding extremely well and they’re showing that on the pitch.”

A game like Sunday’s can have a psychological effect at times. How important is it to be aware of all the positives from the game in order to channel the anger in the right way and achieve a positive result tomorrow?
“Obviously a positive result, in terms of mentality, brings you something extra. But regardless of the results, we have to be good at clearing our minds. Just like we did after the game against Genoa, we have to do the same after Inter. We have to take solace in the fact that we put in a great performance for 85 minutes on Sunday night, we can’t allow ourselves to get down over the last few minutes where we threw away a positive result that the boys deserved. The anger and disappointment was a result of what we did on the pitch. After creating so much, we have to reflect on the fact that we went home with no points. That’s what we’ve looked at. Maybe more clinicality in front of goal and maybe more determination, more focus and more concentration in certain situations because we weren’t fully switched-on for both of their goals. I can’t however have any complaints with these lads for what they’ve done in these three games, because we’ve won four points, and almost seven if you include the first 84 minutes against Inter. I’m not saying that was unthinkable but it certainly wasn’t ever an easy feat, even if we were all hoping for these results. This is all their work. My anger after the match was down to the fact that these guys played such a great game and deserved a different result to the one we got. That would have been such a boost against a team like Inter. It didn’t happen, but it should serve as a lesson for tomorrow’s match. It’s time to put Sunday’s game behind us and focus fully on the game against Hellas Verona, it won’t be an easy one.

There’s been plenty of talk on the five substitutions now available, something new for this second part of the season: did Sunday’s game show how important squad depth is now teams are having to play every three days?
“Yes, you need to have a deep squad to benefit from the five changes. But you still have to deal with one-off difficulties, I can’t remember a game in the past where I’ve been forced into three changes in defence: Gagliolo at the break, and then Dermaku and Laurini due to cramp. Or even Scozzarella who took a knock and had to come off because of that. In light of all that, I only really had one tactical change left to make. It’s important to have all five subs so that you can make tactical changes according to the result. That’s certainly a positive for us coaches, having bigger squads and giving a chance to more players who deserve to play based on the work they do in the week.”

Plenty of people have been calling Parma and Hellas Verona the two surprises of the season. What sort of a game will it be?
Both Hellas Verona and ourselves are certainly doing better than people initially expected, we’re going above and beyond. It’s clear that both sides have staying up in their sights, they’ve just been promoted and they’re making the most of the enthusiasm in the side, just like we did at the time. I think that plenty of credit goes to the club and the coach for the path they’re on. We’re facing a side who play in a certain way, they’re very good at getting forward. They’re a side who don’t allow you to play and that’s shown in the fact that everyone who’s faced them has struggled. They’re a team who play the same way both home and away, just like us. I’m hoping for a great game and, while we’re both in what were unthinkable positions at the start of the season, I think it’s a big game. It’s a direct fight for survival for the both of us. We want to secure safety mathematically as soon as possible.

What are the pitfalls of a game like this? How have you prepared for it?
“Hellas Verona are great at attacking, they’re very strong on second balls, they’re a very physical side with a well-assembled squad by the club and coach in terms of varying their different strengths. They’re showing that they’re great players who deserve to be in this league, they’re having a great season. Plenty of teams are interested in their players and that shows that there’s real quality beyond the coach and club. I hope to go to Verona and try and get a result tomorrow, we know what we have to do to try and do that. Other than the technical aspect, because when they attack you need to be tidier technically, we need to be strong in our determination and on the second balls, because they really take advantage of the one-on-one battles. It won’t be an easy game, but then again there’s no such thing as an easy game. We’ll need to be willing to go and get a result and win back what we lost in the last five minutes against Inter, something which we didn’t deserve.