Parma, 21 May 2021 – On the eve of the team’s match with Sampdoria, Coach Roberto D’Aversa answered journalists’ questions in the press room of the Tardini:

“We still have to have today’s training session, how many of us travel to Genoa we will find out afterwards. Last night we had thirteen, including those from the Primavera, and we’ll evaluate all situations today. This will for sure be the last pre-match press conference for this season, so I want to thank all the people who work to support the first team, from the coaching staff to all those who work on-site, the team manager, the executives, the press officers, the physiotherapists; all those who work daily on the pitch and beyond: I want to thank them personally. What I want to say is that I am sorry about the final outcome. There are people who have been here for quite some time and have done important things to ensure that this club came out of a particular situation and return the club to the division that it belongs, even before I arrived. Unfortunately, this year I was not able to keep the team in this division, so there is regret on my part. What I feel like saying is that the fans must continue to do what they have always done and show their closeness, especially in times of difficulty, so that next year this team can return to the division that it belongs to, which is Serie A”.

What has happened in these six months since I’ve returned can’t erase the previous three and a half years. We have to go to Genoa knowing that it’ll be a good match, despite the fact that we are relegated; the other day Sampdoria celebrated the 30th anniversary of their Scudetto so we go into the game in what is a beautiful environment for them, there will be enthusiasm. We will try to honour the last league match as we have tried to do in all our games, and we’ll hope to avoid some of the mistakes that have unfortunately condemned us to relegation this year. Despite the negative results, these guys should have deserved something more for their performances on the pitch”.

“The only thing that’s concrete is that I have another year on my contract with Parma, the Club will make its assessments, as it should, and then at the end of the year we will talk and see if we will still be together in the future or not. Parma can’t be considered based on the division in which it plays, when I arrived in Lega Pro I had no doubt in coaching such an important club, in terms of European trophies it is the fourth-best club in Italy. However, this doesn’t only depend only on me. My regret is that results haven’t reflected these guys’ performances. The match that influenced our path was the one against Sassuolo in the first round, we were winning until the 93rd minute, and I’m not saying this to blame the individual player, but the penalty could have been avoided, and it’s linked to a reading of the game that with experience tells you to kill the game, but this also happened on other occasions. Where we were leading, like in Florence, our shortcoming was that we didn’t use our experience to see out the game; it also happened against Genoa at home, we played one of our best games and when Genoa took the lead there were twenty minutes left and we just didn’t play anymore. The main reason most likely has been an inability to read the game and bring home a result. The Cagliari match is another example, up until 90 minutes we were on our way to a result that would have led us to face the rest of the season in a different way mentally”.

“What do these six months leave me? Experience comes with time; this year has taught me much more than in years where we achieved greatly. I have slept very little in the last two months, I thought about how what’s happened was possible, considering the many opportunities we had to get out of it, from this point of view I haven’t lived this last part of the season very well, but these six months can’t erase the good that has been done in the past. Time will tell what this period has or hasn’t taught me. In situations, you must always try to find yourself. Many people show me more affection now, I’m getting much more demonstrations of respect around Parma, and this shows that this is a city that, in times of difficulty, shows you warmth and the importance of relationships. What we need to do is think about these experiences and hope that what has happened can teach us something; time will tell”.