Cagliari, 16 February 2019Roberto D’Aversa looked back on the match following the 2-1 loss at the Sardegna Arena with Sky Sport.

“They were better in the first 15 minutes but we then took the lead,” he began. “In the second half, we managed the game better but we conceded two goals. The first was from a central free kick and something like that hardly ever happens. It wasn’t a tactical game, by reading their interviews, we knew that they’d be up for it and they did better to secure the result. Inidividual episodes can condemn you, we allowed Barella to play in a very good ball for Pavoletti on the second goal.” 

“We’re not a surprise anymore and teams study us now to understand how to stop us. For example, they stopped us today whenever we had chances to go on the break. We’ve still not achieved our goal, we need to show that ruthlessness again that we had in the first half of the season.” 

D’Aversa spoke further in the media room at the stadium:

“Teams know us a bit now, they make tactical fouls to stop us from hitting them on the counterattack and we didn’t look for fouls. The game today was one that would be won by whoever showed the greater desire. In the first 15 minutes, we withstood their attacks and then did well to go ahead. After the break, we did better at creating chances but we weren’t precise enough on the break. In the end, we leave with zero points and you can’t conceded goals like that first one from a free kick in the middle. At 1-1, there was the moment that killed us and we didn’t do well enough to stop Barella who played in a quality ball for Pavoletti. They were better in terms of being clinical and determined.”

“In defence, we need to work but it’s not just about our work but having the spirit to get through certain situations. In the first half of the season, we’d put our heads on the line but we’re conceding too easily now. The main disappointment is at conceding a late winner like against Spal, we knew that we’d have to suffer to stay up and the road is still long.” 

“We prepared for the game with the aim of having the wide forwards put pressure on the central defenders in order to block the play and without dropping deep because Pavoletti is very good from crosses. We interpreted the game fairly well apart from the first 15 minutes when we didn’t press high and we had to change the system to put the wingers on their full-backs. We were second-best in challenges and on second balls and in conceding a goal like that first one. We can’t look for excuses, we need to be ready to be more cunning. Deiola? There was more space for him in the team at Parma but he wanted to come back here and it’s his decision.” 

“We got the first goal wrong, we had the height but desire makes the difference on set pieces. We knew it would be tough, credit to Cagliari. Our aim is still to stay up and we have a gap over the others but we need to get points and not think that we’re safe. We need that hunger to get results. Perhaps, we were underestimated before and now we need to finish the season by achieving our goal. It’s not easy psychologically to go again from here but we need to work in the week and rediscover that determination and ruthlessness to get results.”