Parma, 5 May 2022 – Before leading today’s training session, Parma head coach Beppe Iachini spoke to the press ahead of Friday’s trip to Crotone.

 “Our aim in Crotone will be to get another look at some promising players, who will be part of the squad next season. We’ve already lined up with the youngest squad of the season and a lot of the younger guys have been given a go. We’ll keep tabs on their progress so that they can improve further. Circati and Camara will play with the Primavera, because they have an important fixture coming up. There’s great synergy between the youth sector and the first team; it’s only right to lend them a hand given all that they did for us when we had players out.”

 “Inglese, Benedyczak and Bernabé all pulled out before the last game. The first two should be back – we’ll see today. Bernabé is a doubt; we’ll bring him with us but he sustained a pretty hefty knock.”

 “We’ll discuss with the club next week as to what our next move should be. We’ve rarely looked second best against the other teams this season, despite all of our issues and the fact that we have a young team. We’ve often come close to winning and then let the three points slip away, so there’s a bit of regret. We certainly need to be more clinical in front of goal. The team is on the up and a lot of players have improved, which is a positive. It takes time to build a squad that is capable of going far. With such a young squad, there will be good times in the future. A football season can take a turn for the worst – just look at what has happened to Crotone this year. This can happen due to fear, pressure and players not feeling comfortable in games. Perhaps some mistakes were due to the excessive anxiety of making a run with nine consecutive games without a loss and that puts a lot of pressure on you to chase the others. That said, the foundations for the future have been laid.”

 “We were coming out of a tricky period after the Alessandria game; the team suddenly looked more confident and the fans were happy. Then, the league stopped for 35 days and injuries struck. We tried to put the January signings straight in but they had a few issues when they joined. The President really did his best in the January transfer window. The idea was to be perfect but you never factor in these external issues that can crop up. We’ve tried to overcome these problems with hard work but the absences made it difficult.”

 “I started with the 4-3-1-2. A coach always tries to find the right system to suit his players. I didn’t want to keep Man out of the team, as well as players that were improving like Bernabé, Circati, Delprato and Cobbaut. I switched to a 3-5-2 but I didn’t like seeing Vazquez dropping so deep so we moved him forward. We then picked up in confidence and started to go with a more attacking team – that’s how the 3-4-1-2 started. It was all about giving the team the courage to go out and play attacking football. We started creating a lot of chances but just couldn’t finish them. Vazquez playing at 10 meant he scored 13 goals. Points come when you are clinical, that’s just how football is. Each team needs a striker force that plays together regularly. Simy is a consummate professional and came here after a tough 5/6 months. If he had taken 5/6 more chances then his season would be totally different, as would ours. It’s a shame for the club and fans, who have supported us because they saw a team that fights. We did the best we could with the hand we were dealt.”

 “A lot of the players have improved since my arrival; Delprato, Turk, Circati, Cobbaut. Bernabé, Juric and Sohm have also developed despite the odd injury. Benedyczak and Tutino both have more room for improvement. Their mentality and attitude have improved immeasurably. If I could have, I would have played a few more of the Primavera guys – like Sits who started twice – because they are promising young players but the Primavera are going for an important goal right now. Parma will get back to where they belong; this is a serious club with a great fanbase. It’s a new leadership and we’re going through a bit of a rebuild but this requires time.”