Parma, 13 March 2021 – Roberto D’Aversa met journalists at the Tardini to talk about the upcoming match against Roma: “If we are to reflect on it, we need to do so in quite a conservative way, and not so much because of the football. A year ago this we thought that this pandemic would be behind us soon, and yet we are still here today waiting for everyone to be vaccinated. Concerning football, I have been suspended again, this is a situation that I don’t want to talk about because the club intends to make an appeal, which will be assessed in the coming days. I would like to make a public apology for what happened, there was a misunderstanding with a match official due in part to the stress of the game, so I apologise sincerely; at the time you could also say that I left the team in a moment of difficulty, and I’m sorry for this as well because I care a lot about it, it’s the only time that it’s happened, now we have to wait for the result of the appeal.” 

All of the selected players are available to play with no issues, we will have to evaluate playing time. Gervinho got injured in yesterday’s training session, but I think that tomorrow we will be able to use some players depending on the number of minutes they do on the pitch, their physical condition and whether recently suspended players will come on. Bani trained with the team yesterday and today, on Sunday he came off for a small problem but nothing major. The final choices will be made tomorrow: we can think ahead and have Pellè and Zirkzee play, based on who starts or maybe the choice will depend on other criteria. All of the selected players are 100% ready and available to contribute to the team. Unfortunately, we are a team with amongst the highest number of injuries, we weren’t able to do a proper pre-season or prepare properly – and this applies in general, not just to Parma – and suddenly starting the league off again inevitably leads to the number of injuries increasing. As a side, we have had a disproportionate amount of this, but injuries have increased across the board, for everyone.  

There are also often players who you want to rush back onto the pitch since there’s always the good intention on the part of the staff to ensure that the coach can have as many choices as possible. Then amongst our injured players, there are those who arrived with issues from the beginning. This is a problem that we all have to some extent, unfortunately, when things aren’t going well they are going to hurt even more: last week it was attackers, this week it’s especially a problem with defenders. This can’t be an alibi for us, we want to improve our game in every respect, from diet to rest, including the very post-match meals that we have: we are trying to do everything in the best way possible, but unfortunately, this is not always enough when it comes to preventing injuries.” Gigi made a mistake, we all make them, it’s important to get up and go again calmly. Gigi’s psychological aspect, and that of any other player who is making a comeback, has to be one of serenity and peace.  

At the moment, he feels responsible for this, but so do all of us, because if we were to think that the blame for us not bringing home a victory lay at the feet at Gigi’s mistake and that alone, we would be making a huge mistake. We all need to reflect on how to improve ourselves as much as possible, myself most of all, to try and avoid errors which at the moment are preventing us from winning those three points, regardless of performance. We have to improve in many respects, this can’t be an issue that focuses on individuals. Tomorrow we face off against a very strong side, it will be a difficult challenge like every game, but we must play with the will to bring home three points.”  

“The team looked good during the week in spite of what happened in Florence. We were the better team and created more chances. But we’re obviously disappointed to have missed this huge opportunity. During the week, I spoke with the boys about the Roma match and went back to the game against Sassuolo. We need to give it our all and be more determined because, against Fiorentina, we stopped marking at an avoidable corner and gifted them the first goal. The second came from us not winning the second ball and the third from a poor clearance, as happened in La Spezia. We need to get better at controlling games when we’re winning. The team has grown a lot in terms of physicality and performance and a win would probably put things all right. But wins don’t come by accident and we need to work as we have been doing, raise our attention levels and make sure that victory comes.” “When you play against the big teams, that mental aspect can mean that you play more freely. We need to be confident and hungry enough to take points off a top team. It’s not that we have nothing to lose; we need to pick up dropped points against direct rivals in the league – this against a Roma side that won in the Europa League in midweek. In football, being stronger on paper or not doesn’t mean victory; you win by being more determined, intense, hungry and proud than the other team. I hope the boys play like they have been doing recently. We’ve always had periods of difficulty. It’s up to us to come out of this bad spell in terms of results.” “Not changing the defence around is important for consistency. When you have injuries, you’re forced to make changes. It’s true that my teams have usually conceded few goals and this has given us an advantage. There have been more goals this season in Italy than usual and the lack of a crowd can affect concentration levels. Of course, I would’ve liked to have worked with these players from the start of the season. Roma have a lot of players with great technique and physicality and can hurt you from set-pieces through Cristante or Mancini. Fonseca s a great coach and has even improved since he’s been there, especially in terms of their defence.” “I think that Mihaila has finally adapted. He arrived with an injury and he needed a bit of time to get fully fit. Dennis Man is technically good and has some good physical attributes. I’ll need to take stock of the number of attackers that are available tomorrow. Krause is the first to believe in us and has a lot of enthusiasm. This morning, I had a chat with him about an article that came out in the local newspaper. Since my arrival, I have asked for closeness but the article alluded to departures and who might stay beyond this season – ahead of such an important game. I think it was inopportune and had little sense. This morning, the President arrived from the USA with his wife so that we can feel their support. Everyone at the Club is important: from the President to the technical staff, to the journalists covering the Club and to the fans. I’m convinced that, should we win tomorrow, the leadership will be very pleased. Krause is the first person to show his faith in us, to bring a bit of calmness and to be convinced that the team can reach its objective.