Collecchio, 9 December 2022 – Here are the comments made by coach Domenico Panico on the eve of Parma vs Fiorentina, Matchday 3 of the second half of the Serie A Femminile season, scheduled at the stadio “Ennio Tardini”, tomorrow on Saturday 10 December 2022 at 12.30 CET.

Coach Domenico Panico, the Parma Women’s team returns to play at the Stadio Tardini where, under your management, they have given, so far, the best performances…

“Yes, we have an important match against Fiorentina, a strong team that will aim to win to get to second place, as then there will be the direct clash at the top between Roma and Juventus, but we have to do our part; the team has performed well this week. We are ready to play a great game”.

In the first leg, the Viola were also competing at the top of the table, but Parma put in a good performance in that away match. This time we’re back at home again…

“We have to try to score points, we have to try to play our own game, respecting, of course, Fiorentina who have many strengths. We must fight back: it will be a game to play with our own attributes, trying to get the three points. We had the right attitude during the week and I’m convinced that tomorrow we’ll be able to do our best…”

Speaking of points, President Krause revealed during the dinner with the sponsors that he had encouraged the coaches of the Women’s and Men’s teams precisely to score points… Did he ask you anything else?

“The President gives us the drive and the desire to do what was decided when this project was set up: now the goal is to establish our team in the top division, and then have a brighter future. We are focused, of course, on the present, on tomorrow’s game and we will try to win for him too, as we know he really cares about it…”

Under your management Parma have so far only come close to victory, and even against Sassuolo it vanished at the last gasp…

“First of all, it’s important to stay in the match at all times: during my management we have played, in my opinion, three matches at an excellent level, especially the first two; last Sunday, however, in Sassuolo, perhaps we did not do as well as in the previous two matches: Sassuolo put us in a lot of difficulty, but we played as a team, the girls were good, but then on the last chance of the game the Neroverdi scored. As I said immediately after the match, Sassuolo’s point was deserved, because they played an excellent game. It’s been happening a bit too often that we lose a lot of points in the final minutes, but, in my opinion, the important thing is to be there, to be prepared and we were, in all three matches. We faced three very good teams: Sassuolo were at their best, Juventus and Inter are two top teams. The team, however, has picked up two consecutive useful results; against Juve we lost in the 96th minute, so I see a lot of light in this tunnel and I hope to win my first game with Parma”.

Is positivity growing in the camp?

‘Yes, we are convinced of it: the girls are working well, all the staff, the club, the director don’t lack anything, and these are not phrases of circumstance. I repeat: the environment is good, right; the league table, now, we do not look at it because we are positive in that respect. The team is growing: in time we will also recover the many girls we have out through injury. It’s important, in my opinion, to end the year in a positive way, even if this is the goal of all the teams that will want, on the weekend between Saturday and Sunday, to be able to pick up points to be able to celebrate Christmas a little more serene. Our goal is to play a great game on our home ground, and – why not? – try to bring home the three points…”

Then there will be a fairly long break before the resumption, although staff and players will only be on holiday for a short time 

“We will only stop for the time necessary to recharge our batteries: the schedule has been ready for several weeks now: we will continue, however, to work here at Collecchio, then there will be a pause and then we will resume immediately after the Christmas holidays with a programme well outlined. Certainly when we resume, especially in midfield, we will find more alternatives because we are regaining Liucija Vaitukaitytė who is almost training with the group, not yet with the girls, but she has already done a lot of work on the pitch and some other players are also responding to the requests of the medical staff and technical staff. So, in January, we will definitely have a larger squad”.

No recoveries for tomorrow?

“Tomorrow we will have the team that has done well in recent weeks: so I have all the girls I had in these first weeks, they are all doing well, so we will do our best”.

Let’s close by talking about Fiorentina: what are the biggest threats of this team?

“Fiorentina are a strong team in all areas: they have an impressive attack, with many options, players who can both finish themselves and work with the team; a dynamic, experienced midfield, with valuable young players and they have a very strong defence with pace on the flanks. They immediately redeemed themselves after a loss against AC Milan, showing character by playing a great game in Como. We are aware of our opponent’s strength, but we are also aware of our own strength, so with our heads held high we will go and play the match on our own pitch, without fear”.