Parma, 27 November 2021 – Ahead of Como vs. Parma on Serie BKT matchday 14, Head Coach Beppe Iachini spoke to the press in the conference room at the Club’s Collecchio training centre.

“We’ve been working together for three days but the boys are showing all of the willingness to try to understand what we need – from tactics to organisation, from individual performances to collective effort. We’re trying to put a focus on intensity in training and are also looking at the finer details, both with and without the ball. The road is long but desire is a fundamental element to build something for the future.”

 “Sold-out away end in Como? We have to thank the fans for this display of affection; I know that the away end will be full tomorrow and I also saw that cap sales are through the roof! We’ll repay the fans tomorrow with diligence and hard work. It’s nice to feel their enthusiasm.

 “Everything is important: from tactics to mindset, from mentality to conviction. Plenty of pieces need to be brought together to resolve the situation and form a team. We only began a few days ago and we’ll continue week by week. We need to be better out of possession and we allow too many shots. When we have the ball, we need to be more clinical. There is no magic formula; it will take hard work on the pitch and in our video analysis to shorten the process.”

 “Some of the lads weren’t able to train in recent days. They trained individually and we’ll see who’s available. Some of them came off with the odd niggle against Cosenza and I haven’t been able to assess their situation. We’ll see how it goes in the final session and we’ll discuss it with the medical staff. I don’t like to make excuses. Of course, any coach always wants to have the complete squad at his disposal but the situation is like it is and we need to deal with it.”

 “I know that we can’t conquer the world in just a few days. We’re just starting to climb a mountain, trying to learn certain new concepts. We have three games in a week, which means we can’t work like we want to. These games will be used to assess how the boys respond and what our strengths and weaknesses are; I’m curious to see what we’ll need to do. Como are a tough side to play against. They’re organised and know each other well because they won Serie C last season. Their coach has got them playing as a unit with a lot of hard work behind the scenes. They can hurt any team and did as much against Monza. They have more points than us, which is an incentive. We have a lot of respect for our opponents and we’ll need to put in a big performance.”

 “Absences? I don’t like to make excuses; we’ll do it with whoever’s available. You can’t win titles if you don’t trust the entire group and make them all feel like a part of the team. We have some older players, who know what a new coach wants, and others who are perhaps a bit behind. But age isn’t the deciding factor, performances are. We’re working on tactics and will assess who is best placed to start given the work done during the week.”

 “Wherever I go, I look at the stats. I saw that we allow too many shots; we need to improve on and off the ball. Vazquez? He doesn’t talk a lot! Away from that, he’s an important player for us and I expect a lot from him. Knowing him, he is the kind of player that makes you change the system; you can move him around the pitch. He takes up good positions when we’re attacking both in between the lines and in the final third. Organisation is important, knowing where your teammates are at all times. We need to work hard to get there, thereby becoming a team.”

 “I’ve tried two tactical systems: with a back three and a back four. I’m not set on a back three; I’ve won with this system and I’ve won with a back four. What matters is taking stock of your players’ characteristics, trying to understand the players in certain situations and where they might feel strongest and most secure. I can only be a realist and work on a few things; what happens on the pitch will determine our trajectory. Man? I need to think about all my players; Dennis has a lot of quality and I need to get the most out of each player. I’m working with Man – as I’m working with the other players – to get him firing on all cylinders.”

 “Buffon is a model professional. I faced him as a player and many times as a coach; his career speaks for itself. He’s shown all the right desire and is a very important player for us, as are Danilo, Schiattarella, Vazquez, Colombi too. The other guys need to learn from them, so I am expecting a lot from these guys. I don’t really need to say anything to Gigi. The boys have given me some great responses and are working hard. We’ll need to try to show this on the pitch.”

 “I won’t go into any depth on the transfer window. As has happened in the past, we have talked about the fact that if in the context of the team evaluation, we need to customise with some other element, as far as my ideas are concerned and compatibly with our path of work together, the club has given us the willingness to insert some guys to help those we already have and who may be needed by the team. We’ll evaluate that later, now let’s evaluate who we have, to make them grow and improve.”