Parma, 20 February 2021 – “I think that, except for the match against Bologna, we’ve created goalscoring opportunities but we’ve lacked composure and determination when attempting to capitalise on them. This can also be said for set pieces, which are a strong point of ours. I think that it’s a general theme and not just to do with our attackers. Right now, I don’t think that we’re showing the right amount of determination and aggression to finish off or trouble our opponents.”

This is what Parma Coach Roberto D’Aversa had to say during his press conference on the eve of the match against Udinese, scheduled for 12:30 CET tomorrow at the Tardini. “On a general level, I think that it depends as much on the fact that we need to do more everywhere, on getting the simple things right: in Verona, we made lots of technical mistakes, and there were all the other aspects too.

“On Monday, we took the lead and started well, we caused trouble for such a physical team like Verona, who are doing well in the league and are a strong side. I think that it’s predominantly a psychological issue. All of us have to improve – not only the attackers but also the midfielders and the full-backs, who are often the ones who make those crucial passes. The numbers speak for themselves. All of this leads me to believe that we aren’t doing things with enough determination: who dares, wins. It’s a general issue.

“The fact that I fielded Kulusevski and Bastoni highlights that there are no age restrictions on who can play. Concerning the lads that we have this year, it’s important to separate those who came in January, who may be experiencing some linguistic difficulties which will affect their understanding of tactics, and those who arrived earlier in the year.

“This process is sped up when training camps are held. When players arrive in the January transfer window, there can be some problems because we’re training for results at that stage. A teething phase is necessary, but you need time and we don’t have much of that. This isn’t to say that they aren’t training every day, or that we don’t have people help them to understand the language, or that we don’t allow them a little bit longer to understand videos and the tactical side of things.

“With regards to the psychological aspect, we’ve definitely had better times, perhaps also because this is the first time we’ve found ourselves in a situation like this since our return to Serie A. It’s likely that the lads also feel responsible, this will be in the back of their minds. In moments of difficulty, confidence levels decline, but I’ve tried to make them understand that it’s true that we all make mistakes, but mistakes can also come from how you interpret or approach a situation.

We have to play with courage. This week, we’ve been talking about taking to the pitch with courage. Because we have strong players, I truly believe this. The majority of the players we have now were here last year and some started in Lega Pro, a reflection of how much faith I can have in these lads. This faith, however, has to be repaid. The psychological aspect needs to be rectified so we can believe in ourselves again, play with courage and face every single situation with the will to win.

“I talk to the President every week, either face to face or in a conference call if he’s not here, and he confirmed that there’s been no board meeting. I am a coach, but I think that for people at every level of this profession it is worthwhile to engage in some introspection after each match and analyse the situation. I do it when I win the league, when I achieve my objectives, so why wouldn’t I do it when we get one point out of six games? It’s normal for a coach to feel responsible. I can’t shirk the responsibility. We all have to think in this way and then, perhaps, we will get out of this mess. I’m used to both criticism and praise, I’ve had my fair share of both in these pat four years. I accept criticism, but it annoys me when my professionalism or will to do well is questioned. Concerning this, I can guarantee to you all that I don’t sleep at night when we lose, I hate defeat and it impacts me negatively. This has been the case since I was a player.”

“Udinese are a very physical side with high-quality players, like Deulofeu, De Paul and Arslan. It’s true that they’re coming off the back of a defeat, but they’re a strong team. However, instead of thinking about the opposition, with whom we are well acquainted, we have to rediscover our spirit and go out there and perform to bring home a positive result. Torino’s win? It’s yet another setback for us, a result that might make things a little bit more complicated, but these things change week on week. Torino got a result from a set-piece, they didn’t have any other chances except for their goal: this should encourage us further because you really don’t need much to get out of this situation. It’s just how you interpret it, whether you’re determined or not to bring home a good result. In tomorrow’s game, it will be important to go out on to the pitch with courage.”