Parma, 16 October 2021 – Ahead of Parma’s match against Monza at the Tardini in Serie B tomorrow, Enzo Maresca spoke to the press at Collecchio.

 “These breaks are always good; they give you the chance to get stuck into our work a bit more. We insisted on carrying on with the concepts that we have worked on since the beginning, and in which we have no doubts. We’ve changed it up a bit from a more general point of view but are still committed to these concepts, just going into a bit more depth for a few of the more minute details. We started playing a certain way and have made some slight adjustments in recent games; at first by bringing in Sohm, now maybe sending on Delprato or Coulibaly. The formation hasn’t changed; our opponents will also give away things so that we can profit from certain situations.”

 “I don’t think I’m in trouble. I’m not going to comment on freedom of expression; everyone can say what they please and one can then share that or not. All games are decisive. When you win, you take a step forward, otherwise, you lose and stay where you are or you fall behind. I think it’s a bit far-fetched to say that it’s all decided in mid-October. We should only put stock into the standings from February onwards; if a team stays near the top of the table from September to May, it means they’ve done a fantastic job.”

 “I don’t know if it’s tactics or if they’re going to change something. We need to adapt quickly to whatever we might face on the pitch. Monza, like many other teams, have it in them to compete high in the table until the end. I have no doubt that Monza will finish high in the table. We’ve won one of our three home games – plus a draw and a loss. It shouldn’t be an excuse but our strength is playing at home. I remember saying during my presentation that coming to play at the Tardini had an effect on opposing teams. That might not have quite been the case in the last two years but we’ll try to get things back to how they were some time ago.”

 “Brunetta is an option to replace Vazquez; we have other guys that can play in that role and, in our final training session of the week, we made a few decisions but a bit of doubt still lingers. We’ll see what happens between now and tomorrow. Our returning international players are doing well, apart from Dierckx who has suffered a muscle problem. The idea, logically, is to play those that are fit. When we have to play three games in a week, then we’ll consider the others too. When I notice every day is that I’m increasingly falling in love with this team. This is a fantastic group; we have experienced players like Buffon, Colombi, Schiattarella, Inglese, Danilo and Vazquez, who are doing a great job, while the rest of the squad includes a lot of players under the age of 21. Furthermore, a lot of them don’t speak Italian; they finish training and then they study the language. They’re all putting in an immense amount of effort – the veterans and the younger guys. If it was all accompanied by the enthusiasm that a win brings, then we’d work even better. We have no doubts that this will happen.”

 “We’ve played seven league games. I don’t think we did badly against Benevento or Pordenone, or in the first half in Ferrara. I don’t think we did poorly against Pisa, where we deserved more from the game. It’s just a different idea to a more measured style of football – maybe less direct. I don’t know if it’s become more pragmatic.”

 “Monza have a lot of experience in their ranks. I want to thank Stroppa for his kind words on our offence; we’re pleased with what we have. The only shame is that we don’t have them all fit. Tutino asked to come off against SPAL; neither of our two strikers have completed a full game yet. Benek came on in Terni and did really well; he’s one of our youngsters that is impressing.”

 “Our next few games will be really important. The match tomorrow could give us the enthusiasm we need to approach the next ones, but tomorrow’s game is the most important. A rest day on Thursday? We did it in the last break and then beat Pordenone. We’ve done it again this week, but I think we’d have done the same even if we’d lost to Pordenone. We trained on Monday, then had a double session on Tuesday, training again Wednesday and then the day off on Thursday to space out the week. What we didn’t do on Thursday, we got in during the double session Tuesday. There’s a thought process behind everything that we do.”

 “Danilo’s doing better; he’s on his way back. Cobbaut is playing more. Osorio is back too, finally.”

 “We’ve brought in 15 new players and are trying to make some changes. I feel privileged to be able to coach Parma, and my aim is to finish high up. We have a lot of guys under the age of 21; it doesn’t carry the same weight for them as it does for me, they are the ones playing and someone can feel this kind of pressure. As Sarri says, in football they always demand instant results; in our case, there’s also a raft of really young lads.”