Parma, 15 August 2021 – Here’s what Parma boss Enzo Maresca had to say following the Coppa Italia defeat to Lecce.

“This is proof that we still have a long way to go. We need to improve from a mental standpoint; the team looked spent after the first few errors. We only got started a month ago; there’s work to be done, both in terms of the football and our attitude. When we did the things that we needed to do, we looked good – also at the start of the second half. The problems arose once we faced a little bit of adversity; this is something that goes back to the beginning of last season – in stark contrast to the Inter game when I like the courage on display.”

“The league season starts in five days and we’ll get to where we want to be bit by bit. We’ve only been together for a month, so it’s normal in our situation. We need to focus on doing just what we have been working on and we also need to keep our heads up when things aren’t going our way. Brunetta and Vazquez can play together; they are really helpful when playing between the lines. Lecce’s best moments came from turnovers following us giving possession away cheaply. When you try to play and you make simple mistakes, your opposition can break into the open field; this must not happen. If your opponents are brilliant at winning the ball back then that’s one thing, but it’s another to commit as many errors as we did tonight.”

“Tutino and Inglese can give us a lot. Gennaro only arrived recently, he came on so he could get some minutes in the legs and he’ll get more game time as we go on. We want to have him and Roberto firing on all cylinders. We’ve only just started; we’ll go to Frosinone with the same ethos as we have had since the beginning. This first competitive match has shown us that we have a lot of work to do and that we have a mental fragility, which has to be overcome. One aspect of it is waiting and just reacting to the errors of others – the heat also had an impact; it’s more of a mental thing. Can you coach mentality? After a season like the last one, you don’t just magically improve. We’ll improve by winning games.”