Parma, 19 September 2020“It’s been quite an unusual week, but the team have worked well.”This is what Coach Fabio Liverani had to say ahead of Parma vs. Napoli, the Crociati’s opening league fixture of the 2020/21 Serie A TIM season.

Liverani continued: “We know the difficulties that we could encounter against Napoli tomorrow, they’re the only Italian team to have invested 80-90 million euros in their squad. However, I’ve seen positive things from the guys: the team are putting in the hard work, the players get along well and have great desire. Obviously, we haven’t had a lot of time, we’re still in the building phase and there’s been a change of ownership. When it comes to tomorrow’s important match, the important thing is to see where we are.

“You prepare in a certain way for a match and then make the required changes if you’re winning, losing or drawing. Gervinho won’t be involved, but all the other strikers are available. Tomorrow, we’ll assess how to go about things, deciding whether to play with two strikers or with one up front. I still need to evaluate a few things. Karamoh? He has the same chances of playing as the other attackers. I need to assess if he if he can be used from the beginning or whether it’d be better to bring him on during the match. The strikers that we have can all play together. It’s clear that when two centre-forwards like Inglese and Cornelius play together, the others, and the midfielders in particular, must approach the game in a different way. In my opinion, when he is in optimum condition, Inglese can play across the frontline, while Andreas is more of a penalty box striker.

“We haven’t had many training sessions. Nevertheless, those who have been available this week have worked well, showing enthusiasm and desire in the process. I’m convinced that, despite some of the circumstances, the lads will put in a solid performance.”

This morning, President Kyle Krause met the team: “I encountered someone with great enthusiasm and a desire to put in the hard work, including with the former owners. He wants to be a driving force for everyone. We’ll need to work because we’re pressed for time, with this change of ownership coming when there are only 15 days left until the end of the transfer window.”

Tomorrow, Napoli will be the visitors to the Tardini. Allan is no longer with them, will this make a difference?
“I don’t know, Allan didn’t really play a lot last year. They are a very organised team and defend well. Often, their wide players, Insigne and Callejon, drop back to become part of a midfield five. They don’t give a lot away and are able to counter very well, we need to pay attention to this and their transitional play. We know that we’ll have to dig in during the 90 minutes, but we’d also like to cause them problems too. As a team, we’ve worked on all the possibilities when it comes to their frontline, we’ll adapt according to the characteristics of their players.”

Where have the team improved over these past 15 days following the match against Empoli?
“I believe that the team now has more certainty. There’s also more of a desire to do what has been asked of them as we look to play a certain kind of game but remain balanced in the process. We need to try to add new elements but not forget all the good things that were done before. We’re looking for more in-game solutions and aiming to play more matches in the opposition half.”

How are you expecting things to play out in the league this season?
“Those who finished lower down in the league last season are looking to bridge the gap in the transfer market. I think that both Torino and Sampdoria are enjoying good transfer windows. Up to this point, we’ve more or less maintained the same squad. We’ve lost Kulusevski and Caprari up front and need to improve and complete our squad. When the transfer window shuts, we want to have 22/23 players at the required level, with this including young players with great prospects and important players who will form the backbone of the side.”

How much does this already feel like your own team?
“Not too much right now, but the lads are showing great desire and commitment in training. This gives me a lot of confidence.”

Would you take a draw?
“No, I’d never take a draw unless it was required to achieve a final objective.”