Milan, 15 June 2020 – After the Crociati’s clash with AC Milan, Coach D’Aversa made the following statements:

“When we were 2-1 down we had three big chances, hitting the bar and then Roberto Inglese coming close, and if one of those had gone in, I think the game could have gone the other ways. From my perspective it’s a harsh scoreline based on how it played out on the pitch”

“We had some difficulties in the first ten minutes, but we were the better side midway through the game. We started getting into our stride, we took the lead with a great passage of play which started with the goalkeeper, and this goes to show that we came here to play our own game. We also had a great chance when Gervinho was clean through late in the first half. Then, just when we were at our strongest in the game, we inexplicably went down 2-1, and in that spell we didn’t do our performances in the first half of the season and before lockdown justice, by which I mean we lacked the hunger and determination to get the result at all costs. Before lockdown, when we took the lead, teams would find it tough to score against us and to turn the game around, which is something that we’re allowing to happen far too often at the minute. For the first goal, we had three opportunities to apply pressure to Kessié, and we allowed him to shoot from distance, and then, obviously, since he’s a very gifted player, he found the top corner post-and-in: but above all with the goal we conceded from a free kick, we should have set ourselves up better because these are the situations that make the difference between taking home all three points and losing the match, although I didn’t think it was a foul.

“It’s comforting that we created a lot of chances, as Milan rarely give their opponents a look in, but we’re still frustrated to get nothing from this game. Obviously it’s difficult to play without a proper target man, as Roberto Inglese still isn’t ready to play a full 90 minutes, and we don’t have any other players who can adapt to this role like Kucka. Of course, we have a number of players who can play in a range of roles, but for this team to play better, we need a dedicated centre-forward to structure our game around. Unfortunately today we were suddenly a man down [with Cornelius going off injured early in the first half], but we were able to get into the lead anyway, we absolutely mustn’t use injuries as an excuse, because we also had this problem earlier in the season and we still came out with a positive results. Rather than making excuses about injuries, what we need to do is recapture our desire to play well and bring home the result. The hardest thing to take is when you put in good performances but you don’t get anything to show for it: in the first half against Fiorentina there wasn’t much worth complaining about, and this was also true of the first half against Bologna. We’ve got to reflect on the fact that lately we’ve been creating chances but we haven’t been taking them, but before lockdown we had the fifth-best defence in the league and now we haven’t been able to maintain that level of performance.”

“We’ve got to have the desire every time we step out onto the pitch to get the result at all costs, regardless of any difficulties that may arise, like tonight when we lost Bruno Alves at half-time, and from now on, this is something we’ll be looking to improve: in the first half of the season we did this well and we did really well, and now it’s up to each and every one of us to give something more to get us out of the predicament we find ourselves in.”