Collecchio, 12 December 2020 – Ahead of the Crociati’s match away to AC Milan at 20:45 CET tomorrow, Fabio Liverani spoke to the press this afternoon, with the Parma Coach having the following to say:

“Since the resumption of football after the lockdown, AC Milan are undoubtedly the team that have made the biggest strides forward in terms of identity and unity. Ibrahimovic has been the icing on the cake, the man who has raised the quality of the group. Once they found the right path, they carried on going down it, irrespective of which players have been available. This means that the continuous work done by Pioli alongside his team has resulted in them almost becoming a steamroller. We will have to be attentive and organised and try to cause them problems by being good on the ball. We’ll look to make them run while we’re in possession and try to attack with as many men as possible. We need to aim to be courageous. Although Pioli is further along in his work at AC Milan, we need to put in a performance that we can be proud of.

“When I arrived, we had more problems in defence, whereas now it’s the other way round,” the Coach continued, smiling. “I believe that every team has their own DNA, and this is linked to the characteristics of the players. Up front, we’ve got two out-and-out strikers in Cornelius and Inglese and then three further players who can play in attacking roles: Gervinho, Karamoh and Brunetta. We also need to remember that Juan Francisco arrived in October and, due to injuries and COVID-19, hasn’t had a lot of time to get to know Italian football. We don’t have a huge amount of different options in attack. This is why we need to have our midfielders joining in with the attack, while we’re also looking for improvements from our full-backs in terms of pushing forward. This is something we need to work on as a collective unit and not as individuals. It’s a process, and a difficult and complicated one at that.

“I value Karamoh in the same way I value all the youngsters that we have in our squad, and we have several this season. This season, Karamoh has already more or less played the same amount of minutes as he did during the whole of last year. Every youngster needs to play, make mistakes and learn. It’s important to give them time, and we need to help Yann grow and understand where he needs to improve because he has some important qualities. He makes a lot of sacrifices and tries to give the team balance. Being an attacker, he needs to learn to make better choices: for example, when to dribble, when to have one or two touches or when to push forward.  He can only improve these aspects by gaining experience, which will come from him being given playing time.

“Pezzella returned to group training between Wednesday and Thursday, while Kucka won’t be travelling with us because he hasn’t fully recovered. Given that we’re playing every three days, and with my way of playing, I want my players to always be 100% fit so they can take the game to our opponents. As regards Kuco, we decided that he’d complete two training sessions in the next couple of days in the hope he’ll be available against Cagliari. Inglese? He’s working on getting back fit and needs to play. There are choices I need to make and, until now, I’ve favoured Cornelius, also because he’s been in better shape physically. However, we’ll be playing four matches in nine days and both will certainly have opportunities. It’ll then be up to them to give me a selection headache.

“Nicolussi Caviglia is improving and developing. We play with three midfielders but have ten in our squad, so it’s difficult to find a spot for everybody. He’s working hard and making progress, and he got some minutes under his belt in the Coppa Italia. He needs to continue to put in the hard work, but it’s only normal that my selections are based on who I think is slightly more ready. He will, however, get his chance.

I prepare all matches as if they were finals, irrespective of who we’re playing. This is my approach because every match is worth three points. There’s something to lose in every match, which is why I don’t believe in the cliché of there being nothing to lose: three points are always up for grabs. We want to continue to improve and grow as a team, all the while maintaining a solid league position. There are difficulties, but our objectives need to be met. There are four games to go before Christmas and we’ll see where we are by the time the Christmas break comes around.