Parma, 1 February 2019 – The Crociati finished their preparations for tomorrow’s trip to Turin, where they’ll face Juventus at 20:30 CET. Ahead of the match, Coach D’Aversa spoke to the press at the Collecchio Training Centre. This is what he had to say:
“Psychologically, we suffered a setback during our last match. What we need to do is make sure that what happened against Spal doesn’t happen in the final 15 minutes again. We can’t go back in time, but we can learn lessons from it. The lads have worked professionally and with intensity, something which hasn’t been easy given that the transfer market can have a destabilising effect. Nevertheless, we’ve trained well, so I’d like to thank the boys and my staff. We always try to improve and have analysed the goals. We regret not having got what would have been an important result in terms of this season’s objective. There’s still work to be done: it’s key that we don’t allow ourselves to think that we’ve already achieved what we set out to do at the start.
“We’ll be playing one of the strongest sides in Europe. They had difficulties last time out not only because of injuries to players such as Chiellini, but also due to the way Atalanta went about things. We shouldn’t come into the match thinking that they’re experiencing problems – it must be clear to us that we’re facing a fantastic side. We need try to cause them problems and play the perfect match. In the first half the season, my team were one of the sides who caused them problems. We know how strong they are. They can sometimes give the impression that they’re struggling, only to then step it up. We’ll have to play with intensity, be compact and start with conviction in order to try and get a result, even at such a difficult venue.
“Stulac will be back, both Rigoni and Sierralta will be missing as they look to get back to full fitness. Diakhatè will join up with the Primavera side to get some minutes under his belt. Their absences? A club like Juventus won’t run into problems due to absences given that they are equipped to play in multiple competitions. Chiellini and Bonucci have great qualities. Juventus are accustomed to winning and getting back on track after they’ve had a setback. We can’t allow ourselves to think it’ll be easier because they’ve got players missing.
“What happens in games has a big effect on the outcome. Atalanta profited from mistakes from individuals to take the lead, and it’s then difficult to come from behind. Juventus have excellent technical ability and it’ll be extremely difficult for us – we’re well aware of that. We need to do well when it comes to exploiting gaps. Our defeat to them in the first half of the season helped us a lot: we can compete against anyone by thinking as a team. Bruno Alves? I’ve read some inaccurate things. It would have been a great opportunity for him, and this is something that demonstrates that nothing is impossible. He strongly believes in hard work. As the Coach of Parma I’m happy because he’s an important part of this squad.
“Am I happy with our dealings in the transfer market? A discussion did take place with the Sporting Director and the Club, but what I want to work on is what happens on the pitch because we’ve still got a long way to go to secure survival. We need to go to Turin and enjoy ourselves, not forgetting where we were three years ago or even last year. We have to continue what we’re doing: we might have an off day, but we need to remember for what purpose and how this squad was put together. We can be proud of what we’ve done and what we’re going to do. Would I take a point? If we play for the draw and wait for the 90 minutes to go by, we won’t get any kind of result. Our approach will be to try to go there and get the best result possible.
“Who would I take from Juve? When we analyse teams, we do it comprehensively. I don’t have to tell my players how strong and complete a player like Cristiano Ronaldo is. Instead, we analyse everything. They’ll start aggressively and will have the chance to get back on track at home. A single defeat doesn’t erase the strength of this team.”