Parma, 26 February 2021 – “The situation is certainly more complicated than I could have imagined when I arrived. It’s true that we have got two points in seven games and if I think about those two points in terms of missed opportunities to win, especially against Udinese, it really means four points lost: it would still be a difficult situation in terms of the standings, but totally different. What has pushed me on is the group that I have had who have always made themselves available, from that point of view I had some guarantees when I returned. When you arrive, you try to work, to improve. The results are still not ideal, but I am strongly convinced, especially after the match against Udinese, that we can reach our objective”. These are the thoughts of Parma Coach Roberto D’Aversa, who spoke at a press conference on the eve of the match against Spezia scheduled for tomorrow at 15:00 CET at the ‘Alberto Picco’ stadium. We have to score points regardless of who we face in the run-in. The most important thing is our own path and that we score points. Then any team in Serie A could go on a string of negative matches which would help us get out of this situation, but fate is in our own hands: we must work to score points”.

If we really want to go and remember that fantastic day, where the team accomplished a feat by going directly to Serie A, we can reconnect it to the fact that we have to pull off another feat by getting the points needed to save ourselves. The objective changes but our will must be to go to Spezia to face up to a difficult match. Spezia, with the exception of the match in Florence, are a team that are doing well and are the one of the teams that is playing better in our league. If we want to think about that fantastic day we have to think about pulling off a feat that is not accomplished in a one-off game but is finished when we achieve our goal. We must be the first ones to want it”.

“We work on all aspects, after the game there was disappointment, but we have to think positively. I told the boys about the 65 minutes in which they played an extraordinary game, they created a lot and in which the circumstances of the chances not taken were not down to us, so we must start from those 65 minutes and eliminate the mistakes that are costing us dearly. We can only work on that point of view and we have to do it”.

“I think the match against Udinese was one of the best I’ve seen at the Tardini since I’ve been here, we created a lot of chances against a physically strong team and technically strong players like De Paul. Up until their first goal where there was an individual error, there was no match, no signs that could create any difficulties for us. After a mistake, you must have the strength to continue doing what you were doing, regardless of the poor position in the table, mentally you must remain stable throughout the game. After conceding the second goal, where we made a mistake with a situation that could have been avoided, we had a couple of sensational opportunities to bring home a full result. Having said that, after that match I am even more convinced that we can achieve our goal. It’s clear that we have to face the matches as we did for most of that match and try to have more determination and hunger to bring home a result”.

“We mustn’t think that Spezia are doing anything extra. Spezia and Benevento remind me of my first year here when everyone we came up against thought we would roll over, but we actually made life difficult for our opponents because they had underestimated who they were playing – we cannot be complacent like this. We have to think about the game Spezia won at home against AC Milan, where they were the clear victors, even if they lost their last game in Florence they are nevertheless a well-trained side with a very organised coach. They play with enthusiasm and courage: it is proof of the fact that when things are going well you approach games in a certain way, but when they aren’t going brilliantly you have less confidence and more anxiety, as though you were waiting for the next negative period. We have to think positively and try and create something to be positive about. Even having created so many goalscoring opportunities but not having finished the game off earlier is something that needs to be improved”.

With regards to my daily expectations from these boys I can see no room for improvement, there are some learning difficulties due to the language barrier and lack of experience in Italian football, but this will get better with time. Concerning this, I have seen no negative signs. That being said, we have to see matches as a reflection of what we do during the week and we have to improve in some respects because we have been throwing away chances at getting points. We are used to challenges but if this comes down to an issue of will, we have to want it no matter what and do something more because what we’ve done so far is simply not enough”.

“Physically, the team is growing more and more, and commitment-wise I have seen no negative signs. The intensity of training sessions is important because physical fitness can improve and reduce the occurrence of errors of judgement and individual errors. Set pieces? They are another important aspect, not just for us but in football in general. There are so many examples of successful set pieces changing games. If we look at what happened between yesterday and today in training there is no reason to be negative about it, but I think that when these things happen it’s best to always be positive: firstly because tomorrow I don’t have to make the choice of sending someone to the stands. But also, because there have been important players absent in the past, and we are used to this, we always respond to this as a team. My focus is on who is available tomorrow and who is likely to help bring home a result from a difficult game, and it is also a reward for those who train hard every day and deserve more playing time; it’s a chance for them to show what they’re worth.”