Parma, 29 January 2021 – Ahead of Sunday’s clash against Crotone, Parma Head Coach Beppe Iachini today held his customary pre-match press conference at Collecchio.

 “We need to maintain focus on our work and be aware of what we need to improve. We need to do our utmost for this Club. We’ve prepared by revisiting certain events from the Frosinone game when we hadn’t played in quite a while. We created a lot against Alessandria and covered the pitch well; we looked dangerous going forward and we could’ve scored more goals. We were motivated following that game but perhaps the lengthy break caused us to drop off in intensity. There’s always a bit of apprehension in the season following a relegation; we just need to have more courage and personality and be less afraid to play expansive football. We’ve got to rediscover the spark needed for confidence and morale – two essentials in football.”

 “This is a situation that can arise if you don’t have the right initial turnaround following relegation – the shirt on your chest starts to way that bit more heavily. We need to show more personality and courage. We took 16 shots against Frosinone but we need to start converting chances into goals; we often misplace that final pass and we must have less fear. We need to up the ante going forward, even if that means taking more risks at the back. The boys can’t catch a break right now. We had plenty of opportunities to equalize. We just need to come through this phase. The lads are working hard but then individual issues crop up: Costa hasn’t played in a while, Benedyczak picked up a knock against Alessandria, Mihaila hadn’t played in two months and the same goes for Inglese. Our forwards were in top form against Alessandria and then we lost these lads through injury.”

 “We’ve worked hard on the defence to try and bring a bit more stability to the team. There are still improvements to be made; we sometimes drop too deep. We’re also working on the attack but we need to be more courageous going forward. This goes hand in hand with improvements to fitness.”

 “Crotone have the quality to fight for promotion but are struggling in the table; this is just how it goes sometimes. We’ll be in better condition for this game. They have a lot of pace; they’re a solid side. There are no easy games, only must-win matches. We’re looking at getting a few of the lads back fit; I’m still assessing the forward line because we had a few issues too many last month. We need to get more of the guys involved given the packed fixture list. The more you train, the better you can read the game; we need to convert chances into goals.”

 “The January transfer window is never simple. The Club is working tirelessly to make adjustments that will improve the squad in more than just numbers. The Club is taking care of that; we just need to focus on playing football. Simy? Given that he has yet to arrive here, what we have to make clear is that we have good, interesting young players here. I’ve coached Dybala, Belotti, Icardi and Vlahovic and they were all promising young players at the time. They need time but they have a lot of potential. Simy would be a great addition to the attack but we also have to consider the youngsters, who will go on to have great careers. You never stop improving, just look at Buffon! In England and Spain, 18 and 19-year-olds are playing top-flight football; we need to bring them through as well.”

 “Tutino started the first three games, then he came on in another one but hasn’t recently given the development of other players. I ask for certain things of my players but if they go to the long ball out of fear rather than keeping the ball on the deck, then I need to pick Inglese, Benedyczak or Bonny ahead of Tutino because they have the right characteristics to play that style of football. Tutino is working hard; he’s the kind of striker that can affect games but he has maybe scored fewer than expected. We keep moving forward and there will be game-time for everyone. It’s nonsense to say that Tutino is out of contention. The Club has expectations of him, as we do of Benedyczak, who is a Poland U21 international.”

 “We have midfielders of a certain style, such as Sohn, Juric and Traorè, and we wanted a quick player like Cassata, who is on his way back from injury. It’ll be tough to get him back in fit in such a short amount of time but he’s improving day by day.”