Parma, 3 February 2022 – Before the team’s departure for Benevento, where Parma will take to the pitch on Saturday, Coach Beppe Iachini spoke to the press at the Stadio Ennio Tardini. This is what he had to say:

“We’ve had a few injury issues up front for a few weeks now. Benedyczak came off with a knock on Sunday but has done a bit of work with the team, we’ll see. There are a few niggles and we’ve got another training session coming up. A five-and-a-half-hour journey awaits and we’re playing at 14:00 CET on Saturday. So that we can do things properly, we’re leaving a day early.

I’d like to thank the President and directors for their efforts. The January transfer market isn’t always easy, but, on the whole, we’ve done our best to bring in players who could enhance us on a technical level as we look to score more goals. While the statistics show that we’re not exposing ourselves to as much danger in defence as before, we haven’t been particularly precise when it comes to our final ball and shooting. We’ve also been unlucky: after Alessandria, we lost Benedyczak and Inglese, both of whom were enjoying good spells. We’ve also hit the woodwork five times, which is a lot in 6-7 games. On other occasions, we’ve been naïve.

“We wanted to bring in players who could give us something more and bring more experience to the side. With this group, we need to climb the table. We can do it and believe we can, taking it game by game. We have to accelerate the integration of the new players and get those who have had injury problems fully fit, like Cassata, Costa and Coulibaly. Together with the fans, we need to stay compact and ignite the spark in this group. Picking up results leads to a growth in confidence.

“We need to read situations better in certain areas of the pitch. If we had read the final ball better on Sunday, the result would have been different. When it comes to the growth of our young players, it’s important for them to train with those who already know these things. Oosterwolde likes to get forward; he’s only 20 years old, has a great left foot and is a player we need to nurture. We’ve got guys who have a great chance to grow, and there’s a path of growth to take together. We want to climb the table and create a competitive group going forward, also with next season in mind. We need to find the ideal tactical system. We all had a meeting – players, staff, kitmen – as we look to row hard together and alongside our fans, who our lads really need. Such situations can also be hard for experienced players, and we need to work on everything, including attention to detail. Then, certain incidents in matches can make your confidence grow.

“We need everybody’s contribution. On Sunday, there was the attitude of wanting to push forward. We’re working on this as we aim to be more assertive. Those who have come in will help us in terms of reading play in attack. Simy and Pandev have been here for three days. I’ll talk to them tomorrow and we’ll assess things. Simy has had Covid and will need a bit of time. I’ve liked what I’ve seen in terms of their readiness to help both on and off the pitch with the growth of the group in mind.

“We haven’t been playing with a defensive system, but our wingers need to be more assertive and not have any fear. When a group is relegated, if the new season doesn’t start well, new arrivals slowly start to be affected by the same fear that those already in the squad had. We must continue to work hard. We also need to take care of the details, conceding, for example, throw-ins instead of corners. All formations could provide the right solution, it depends on the characteristics of the players. You need to find a tactical system that provides balance in both phases.

“Our physical work is going well, but you can see that we’ve been lacking game time. Training gives you fuel, matches give you power. After months on the sidelines, Costa played two games and came off in both. Others are in the same situation, and we need to make sure that everyone reaches the same fitness level.

“Everybody is important and they have to show that they want to play during the week. We’ve got some good players here and I’m observing everyone, including Marconi, Sits and Circati. Guys like Coulibaly, Oosterwolde and Bernabè are important for the future. I wanted experienced players to help our youngsters grow. Benedyczak and Bonny will do some great things. Patience is required.”