Parma, 20 January 2022 – On the eve of the home match against Frosinone tomorrow at 20:30 at the Tardini which will mark the return to the pitch for the Crociati this year, Coach Beppe Iachini spoke to the press via video conference.

“The boys, as I said in the conference before the holidays, gave up some days off and so we have worked on every aspect: technical, physical, tactical. After a month without a game I’m also curious to see how the team comes together again, and this will be the same for everyone when the championship resumes. There are those who resume in the right way and those who, having been away from the pitch for some time, might be a bit off the pace. We’ve focused on every aspect in attack and defence. I’m curious to see what the lads have picked up on, especially in terms of how they approach the game. We’re up against a respectable, organised team that has been playing together for a year and a half, with quality players: we’ll need a great performance.”

“Given that all coaches would like to have everyone come in right away to be able to get on with training as a squad, the January transfer market is full of unknowns. The directors and the president are working in this window to bring in other guys who can complement the group we have. But we have to stay focused on the game. When the market is over we’ll take stock, I’m sure the club wants to do things in the right way. Now let’s focus on the game because it’s a difficult one. We are at the eve of a fixture still with several unknowns. Compared to our opponents, we haven’t played for a long time. I expect a great performance from the boys in all aspects. It will be a way to provide some hard evidence of everything we’ve done.”

“I don’t want to keep going on about the market, there is no gap to fill but to integrate with a view of the many fixtures we have and the many potential issues we may face. The new regulations say that if you’re missing 9 players you can postpone the game, with 8 you play, so we have to strengthen the squad. If you’re missing 4 guys in a position then I can’t play the forwards in defence or the defenders in the attack: we will have to take the appropriate precautions. At the same time, we have three midweek games, the number of fixtures has increased, we will need to have a squad with more interchangeable players and be able to mix it up so the lads don’t get injured or fatigued.”

“We have worked hard, we had to train all aspects of our game. It’s no coincidence that I told the lads that the standard eight-day holiday couldn’t have been a holiday, because they had to be on the pitch to be able to do physical tests for what I ask of my teams: intensity, aggression and pace. The length and toughness of Serie B meant that we had to put fuel in the tank for the second half of the season. We’ve worked on all aspects. I’m also curious to see the lads. We haven’t been able to do any friendlies because of COVID and we also haven’t been able to take advantage of this period. We’ve had a few problems, some sprained ankles, we still have two more training sessions and we’ll see who can start from the beginning, but I expect a lot from everyone.”

“Mihaila? He’s been back for 15 days, he’s training with the group and could be selected. We’ll see who will be a bit more ready to start the game and those who will come on later. Everyone is a starter as I’ve always said, between those who start straight away and those who come off the bench to do their part. 

Mihaila could play as a second striker, I have used him both as a forward and a winger, I can see that he is well prepared, he has good technique and speed, he can give us a hand on the offensive front. We will have to play until the last game to reach our goal, which is the playoffs…”

“Man is working well, I’ve spoken to him as I have to everyone and everyone has been giving it their all this week. Regardless of how much and in which role he will play, he must be ready. If there market situation changes then the directors and the club will tell him. I try to involve everyone in training, if we need his skills we will try to exploit them because he has quality. I can see he is involved and focused, like everyone else.”

“All games in Serie B are difficult if you don’t approach them in the right way or think it’s easy. In Serie B you must respect opponents like Frosinone because they also have a job to do. On top of that, they have organisation, attitude and important qualities, as well as a coach who has been working there for a year and a half and so they know their identity and have been able to bring in players who suit their game. They have players like Ciano, Zerbin, Charpentier, Novakovic, Garritano who are all quality footballers. We will have to concentrate in the two phases and build-up well in the attacking phase.”

“We have to take it one game at a time and try to improve all the time. As we go along we will improve our pace, when you start again after the break, it takes some time to get back to full speed, new players have also arrived and we will see if they have a chance to start and how long they can play. We will know all these situations in the course of the game, but I’m convinced that the team will have the right approach and attitude. We are Parma, we have to take the field with the right mentality and gameplan to get the result that what we want”.

“The boys are all training well, they are all getting involved. I told them that we wear the Parma jersey and we have to take the field and be professional, to always honour the jersey. There will be entries and exits in the market, it’s normal: when the market ends those who will stay will be welcome and those who will be gone because just like in every team there are those who are favoured over others. The January transfer market makes sure that these situations are dealt with. The club is working hard and I can guarantee that the guys who are here are training at 200km/hour and I thank them for that. At the end of the transfer market, we will work on the players we have making full use of their qualities so that everyone can help out.”

“The COVID regulations? It’s not that I’m against them, there are rules, but if you have a Green Pass why can’t you go to the stadium? If you’re sick you stay at home. Just as I don’t understand why we can play with eight absentees for COVID and not nine: if I’m missing three goalkeepers, who will I play with? I don’t want to be controversial. The fans are being penalised in this way, as is the team, who can’t be supported by the fans.”