Parma, 18 March 2021 – “Here’s what Parma’s coach Roberto D’Aversa had to say at the press conference on the eve of the match against Genoa, scheduled for tomorrow at 20:45 CET at the Tardini: “We didn’t have much time to enjoy our victory against Roma, because the next day we started to focus on tomorrow evening’s game. It’s clear that it was an important result to try and reach our objective at the end of the league. The acceptance of my appeal regarding the two-match ban? I wasn’t sure about the acceptance of the appeal, but it seemed to me that two match-days – this not being the fault of the Sporting Authority – were excessive punishment for my behaviour. I also re-watched the match and there was nothing I did that could have merited a two-match ban. This is all in the past, though, I had a disagreement with the Fourth Official. Now it’s water under the bridge, there’s no point in discussing it again. Now we need to think about tomorrow’s game and I’d like to thank the club for its support regarding the appeal which ensured that I will be in the dugout tomorrow and not the stands.” 

“Gagliolo only trained today with the team, it’s likely that he’ll only come on in an emergency. Cornelius trained with the team a little bit yesterday and today he did the whole session with his teammates. I will evaluate the situation but I also need to consider the players who played the full game against Roma. I’ll have another think about the starting XI because when you make these choices you need to remember that different things can happen in the same game: you prepare for lots of eventualities. Pellè? I’ll decide tomorrow morning, he has also had a few niggles this week. We’ll wait and see, we still have one more training session and then tomorrow evening I will decide the starting XI.” 

“Maybe we’re only spoilt for choice in midfield,” he carried on, smiling, “for the rest of the team, this isn’t the case. Kucka, our captain, is just coming back and he is an important player. I will evaluate some players who are itching to get out onto the pitch. Maybe Kucka will play from the first whistle, with someone available to replace him. It’s important to have some level of choice, whether it’s for the starting XI or who to bring on during the game because it’s often the case that the starting XI is important but it’s who you bring on that makes the difference. First of all, you try to put the most reliable players on the starting team sheet, but you have to consider every eventuality, such as set-pieces. There’s always someone who has to draw the short straw, maybe they didn’t train as well as the others during the week. But the important thing is how we all interpret it, in the win against Roma there was maximum participation from everyone, whether they went out onto the pitch or not. It’s not about being a maverick and thinking only about yourself but rather putting the team first. If the best thing for the team means being on the bench sometimes, you have to accept this.” 

“Tomorrow’s match will be very difficult, I have presented it to the boys as an even more difficult match compared with the Roma game. I think that Genoa suffered at first from the negative impacts of Covid-19. After Ballardini arrived, they had a good run of form, both in terms of the amounts of points that they picked up and their performances. We all know who the team’s star players are, they have excellent, top quality players like Destro, Pandev and Strootman: we can’t look at Genoa’s strengths and expect an easy game. It will be a very difficult match, against a very good side who play with aggression when they move up the pitch. But I think that if we go out onto the pitch with the right level of intensity, the right amount of motivation, the right concentration and will to win every individual battle, we will most probably bring home a good result. We need to be very good in possession and be patient, as well as perform well in our moves because we can’t let ourselves force anything or commit errors which could give the advantage to the opposition.”

“The team has always been mature, even when the odd game has been thrown away after a two-goal lead. We’re not influenced by past results, be they positive or negative. Tomorrow, we face Genoa – a tough game. We need to be enthusiastic. Your state of mind changes depending on whether you win or lose. We need to be more confident in what we’re doing, be more determined and alert in order to cut out the mistakes.” “This team has come a long way; from the first year back in Serie A to the second and to now. You always make tactical choices based on the players at your disposal. When you score a goal by being direct, like we did for the first against Roma, it’s because you know your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. During the week, you work on trying to exploit these weaknesses. We knew that Roma would press high when out of possession. However, tomorrow’s game will be totally different.” “Postponement of Inter vs. Sassuolo? I’ve spoken about this in the past. Unfortunately, a precedent has been set and, now, interpretations are different than they were before. I’m speaking on a more general level. We’re just going to focus on ourselves and forge ahead. Before I returned, Parma played against Udinese with 7/8 players missing after having tested positive. That said, it’s not down to the individual clubs, it’s down to those that run the whole system. It’s not a problem, it’s a question of uniformity, otherwise, you end up with a distorted table, whether you like it or not.” “Tomorrow’s game is a really important one, but not definitive. We just need to give it our all tomorrow evening and then move on to the next one. There’s still time for us to reach survival; we just need to pour all of our energy into every single game, starting with Genoa.”