Parma, 10 March 2022 – Beppe Iachini held a video conference at Collecchio today ahead of Parma’s home match against Cittadella at 20:30 CET tomorrow. This is what the Crociati Coach had to say:

“After every match, we have 5-6 players who have picked up knocks. We’re a technical side and aim to achieve results by playing a certain way with high-quality players, but there’s a need to protect fans and good football. These knocks lead to a drop in the affected players’ physical conditions, keeping them out. If fouls are systematic, it interrupts the game. There shouldn’t be 7-8 fouls before a player is booked. Many of the muscle problems we’ve had can be linked to fouls. Buffon has bruising and, as a result, swelling on his calf; we need to assess him, but he’s unlikely to play. Brunetta also has a calf problem, Benedyczak picked up a knock and Vazquez took a blow to the ankle. The medical staff will assess Pandev between today and tomorrow. We’ll also evaluate things in training; out of everyone, Buffon’s injury is the most serious.

We’re taking it one game at a time, playing with the same attitude both home and away. In Monza, for example, we lined up with two very attacking wingers. It’s clear that the team have grown, and we’re getting important players like Man, Correia and Coulibaly back fit. Bernabé, Circati and Sits have all made strides forward. These are things that give us hope for the future. Players such as Cassata, Costa and Pandev have been missing, so we haven’t been able to fully draw on the strengths of those who signed in January, but we’re looking ahead. We’re helping many lads improve, and, judging from the appreciation of our fans after our matches, this team have spirit. Against Pordenone and SPAL, we managed to kill off the games; in other matches, however, this hasn’t been the case. Against Monza and Reggina, penalty decisions didn’t go our way, but we’ve been at fault too, not taking our chances in front of goal. This, however, is part of a certain type of journey. We’ll keep taking things one game at a time; then, we’ll see what we manage to achieve.

“I’ve always looked to promote young players in my career; Bennacer, Sensi, Belotti, Dybala are just some examples. Here at Parma, Sits is making strides forward as we bring him into the first-team setup from the Primavera side. Man is improving tactically, something which will help him as his career progresses. I’ve spoken to him a lot; he’s growing, just like many others are. We need to combine youth development with bringing Parma back to promotion contention in the next one and a half years. We’ll carry on going down this path with the belief that we’re creating a team of a certain nature, one which can make our fans proud.

“Cittadella are a side that have been in the mix for a number of years now, also being involved in the playoffs. Their players have been playing together for a good while and, through their work, combine a certain way of playing with results. They’ve been good on the road, and this says a lot about their strength and quality.

“Upon his arrival, Simy hadn’t played a lot of football, something which may have affected him. He’s had his chances and has worked for the team, looking to create opportunities for his teammates, but, with the path he’s going down, he needs time and minutes under his belt. Strikers are like goalkeepers in that they play atypical roles and are followed more closely; this leads to more pressure. The important thing is that certain situations are arising; he’ll improve and find the net again, and, when you perhaps least expect it, will bag two. It happens to every striker. If Inglese, Pandev and Tutino had been able to play more, we would have been able to avoid squeezing every last drop out of him. I hope that he’ll start scoring again in the future; teams live off the prolificacy of their attack.

“Both at home and on our travels, we’ve matched teams who are higher up in the table. However, we haven’t killed off certain matches or haven’t kept them on the right track. Having 10-11 players out hasn’t helped: many of our absences have been experienced heads who read matches in a different way. However, I’m not blaming the young players when I say this. It is, however, something we’ve paid the price for and, together with the Club, we’re assessing it and looking for solutions. We’ve also been missing a bit of luck, being denied by the woodwork and goal-line clearances.”