Parma, 6th November 2021 – On the eve of Lecce v Parma, which will kick off Matchday 12 of Serie BKT 2021/22, the coach of Crociati Enzo Maresca met the press to discuss the match ahead.

“Sohm could be the answer, we tried a couple of them today given the absences. Tactically we are trying to adapt to the opponents’ system and find chinks in their armour, it happened to us at Cittadella and with Vicenza in the first half hour and until our numerical advantage was cancelled out, and where we made a couple of changes compared to the previous match, where in the build-up we brought Brunetta back alongside Juric, whereas against Vicenza nobody fell back and so Juan made things happen on his own. Tomorrow we’ll do one thing or another and it’ll depend on whether Sohm starts or not. We know Lecce are one of the top two or three teams in the league, we’ve already played Monza, Benevento, Pisa and Cremonese, so there are already several in that bracket. It will be a match against a strong team. Tutino is fit, after the last match where he wasn’t 100%, he didn’t train fully for the first few days but ended the week back to doing all the sessions.”

“It is vital to go into the break off the back of good performance, it would back up the momentum we have built up thus far. Up to this point, the times when the team has not reacted have been few and far between. It would build on the last two games where we had a performance and a result, it would be invaluable to reach the break with another positive performance in the bag and also to bring home three points.”

“We cannot take any backward steps and we must look to grow from here, to be able to adapt depending on who we come up against, in the last two games, without changing anything from a defensive point of view, we tried to adapt on the offensive front. We must continue to grow, to start being sure of ourselves not only as a team but also as individuals. Our important players have to start to take on the role and responsibility of leaders, which is something we are working on with some of the guys. That’s not the case for Man, he is training well, in the last two games in which he didn’t play we changed some aspects of our game, the performance and the results came with that, but as I said I make my choices on what I see midweek, I don’t bother negotiating with the wrong attitude. As long as there is that then there is room for everyone, I pointed out to the boys the example of Benek who went a few games without coming on but never brought the wrong attitude and when his time came, he was rewarded. Let him be an example for everyone when it comes to attitude”

“Valenti is better, we should have him back available for selection after the break which is good news. Dierckx the same, he’s already training. Schiattarella has a problem that he brings from Reggio Calabria where he came off shortly after kick-off, Felix has remained out on selection grounds. Man and Mihaila could also play second striker, but there is no need, the teams that want to do something important must have important players, they are for us. Mihaila played an excellent match against Vicenza, he worked hard in defence and was dangerous on the offensive side, creating a golden opportunity. Dennis will also definitely find his place.”

“The market? It’s November, anything can happen between now and January. We’ve been working from the start of the season to play our best with the players that we have, and at the moment by the looks of the results and performances, it seems to be working. The game plan is the same as the one from Cittadella, it hasn’t changed. We’ve added something on the defensive side, but in general we’re carrying on with the concepts we started with on 12 July”.

“I’ve said it before, we’re delighted to have Buffon and Colombi, Gigi can hold his own without any problems. And then behind him, there’s an exceptional guy like Simone who trains spectacularly, on the bench he’s the first to always want to help out the team, we’re very happy with them. I expect a tough atmosphere in Lecce, but that won’t be anything new, when we went to Reggio Calabria there had been an invitation sent out to get people to the stadium for example. It’s the weight of responsibility of being a player and coach of Parma, you know that wherever you go they all want to fill the stadium and get the win. It’s a weight you have to be able to carry, otherwise you are going to have a hard time and we’re developing players who can take on this responsibility as leaders.