Collecchio, 5 January 2021 – Ahead of Atalanta vs. Parma, Fabio Liverani had his say on matchday 16 in Serie A.

“We have tried to prepare for this game as best we could and as quickly as possible, only having around 36 hours to work with. We have a lot of problems right now and all we can believe in is the work we’re doing. All teams can go through these bad spells. I told the team after the last game to dig deep. We need to push ourselves and help each other to get out of this rut.

“In life as in football, the facts count. I think it wouldn’t be right to take about the transfer market right now in the sense that we need to concentrate on this game, and then another in three days. We need to have faith in the group that’s already at our disposal, regardless of who might come in during this window, because they have potential. Of course, we can improve in many ways, especially going forward. We’ve worked out what we need with the owner and the sporting director, but in terms of concrete names, you’d need to ask them.

“We all want the standings to be different. We’ve lost against two direct rivals and so morale isn’t high. Away from the market, this team has to understand that we can all help each other. There’s an older group here, and there’s a newer group, and they both need to join in the same path. Every young or foreign player needs time; there are those that adapt quicker and some slower. Some of them arrived unfit and some injured. It takes time to come together. I understand there isn’t a lot of patience in Italian football but the boys need it.

“I’m a young coach, but in my 44 years, all I have done is football. I know all of the dynamics and situations. I get here for training at 8 am and leave late in the evening. I try to work and my staff and I dedicate all of our time to this job. I know I live by results but I take it absolutely seriously. As long as I am the coach of Parma, I will give my all and then, only time will tell.
“Kucka, Iacoponi and Osorio are all out, so it’s a tough situation. Pezzella is in the squad but can’t play 90 minutes. We’re facing a really good team and they showed as much two days ago. I think we all know what Atalanta are about. We’ll need to suffer without the ball and be compact. If we need to play long, then I think it’ll be hard to get a result.

“We’ve not worked too much on formations and styles of play because this is an experienced group. The training camp will help us change it up, but we haven’t had time to really get into it so we’ll have to stick with a certain type of football. The first goal against Torino was an error in judgement because we were a man light and needed to defend deep a little bit better. It finished 3-0, but I don’t think Parma were outclassed, but from the result, you can see that we are struggling. Patience is important but we do need something extra, and that’s regardless of Fabio Liverani.

“Gervinho isn’t ready. He’s back and progressing well. Mihaila is further along but he had an operation and has been out for 3/4 months, so we’ll need to be patient with him. We had thought that we’d found a balance with this squad, especially against Genoa and AC Milan, and the draws against Benevento and Cagliari gave us a base. For many different reasons, this team is working with the same players and is managing to be consistent. I don’t think the squad needs an upheaval, we have 5 or 6 players out. We need to rediscover that fire inside. I will try to choose the best team possible, which can give me a bit more of a guarantee, taking into account that, on some occasions, the choices we made were obligatory.”