Parma, 19 May 2019 – Coach Roberto D’Aversa today spoke to the press after his Parma side beat Fiorentina 1-0.

Here’s what he had to say:

“Did I believe? In my role, I must be the first to inspire belief. I am emotional. I went to take my son from the other side of the pitch and I’m emotional because we’ve achieved our objective after a troubled year. We started well during the first half of the season but then we risked compromising everything during the latter stages. The Coach must always feel responsibility. I know what I represent: I’m at an important club with an important fanbase. I care, not only for myself but also for these players and what they give on a daily basis. I care for the club and the people here. Even though we’ve made mistakes, I feel honoured to have a group of players so attached to the shirt. They demonstrated this once again today because one individual played despite not being in the best shape. Our group possesses great depth and substance.

Everyone wanted to reach this objective because they all played a part in getting here. It’s very important to feel this unity. It was important for the club, the city, everyone. What will I ask for now? Only for a few days to relax. Now is the time to enjoy this result, one achieved through great sacrifice, and then we can discuss things and look at where we can improve. It’s true that we’ve done well each year, but you always need to keep improving. However, this is a discussion for some time in the future. Gervinho took a knock after 15 minutes, while Siligardi completed the warm-up but wasn’t available for the entire match. Luck wasn’t on our side. We spent most of the season without a striker and it wasn’t easy playing without important players, although we never stopped working. We grew accustomed to this over the course of the season, while we also had to deal with the difficulties of our opposition. Fiorentina possesses a solid squad, but we showed that heart can compensate for anything. I’ve been very lucky in this regard since I’ve arrived and I want to thank everyone for that.

“I think that there is still a cultural problem. Defeats are still not accepted everywhere, as can be seen with Allegri at Juve. You get criticised in this role, and I’m fine with that. The important thing is that the players feel the support of the crowd when they take to the pitch. The first half of the season and the win in Udine affected us: it’s perhaps the case that that win against Udinese made us feel relaxed, while we also picked up injuries. If our results had been spread out more over the course of the season, we probably wouldn’t be receiving all this criticism. There has been constructive criticism, but sometimes it’s gone beyond that.

“Do I see myself remaining on the Parma bench? It’s not the moment to talk about it, we want to praise the lads for achieving our objective. We’ve done something important, we’ve gone full circle. These past years have all been exciting: we achieved something extraordinary in Lega Pro: the win against Alessandria wasn’t a foregone conclusion, neither was the match against Pordenone. The following year, our intention was to reach the play-offs, the Club provided me with a good squad but nothing was guaranteed. This year, we needed to reach this objective at all costs because it was one that began three years ago. We feel enormous satisfaction, it’s important for the players who are experiencing their first Serie A season as well as those who have been here before but were unable to avoid relegation. Everyone needs to be congratulated. The fans showed their support in Bologna too, and it’s so important – the players can feel it.  We’ve always worked to make an impact on the pitch.”