Parma, 12 July 2020 – Coach D’Aversa  gave his thoughts in the press conference following our 2-2 draw against Bologna.

“I think that Bologna had the upper hand in the first half, but in the second, we were the ones who set the tempo. We were two goals down, with one goal coming in the fallout after a corner, and the other from the edge of box. Clearly, getting back into a game like this one is no mean feat, and if we look back on the match, we scored two goals at the death, but we had the better of them throughout the second half, just like they’d been on top in the first – and when we’re making mistakes, for example in the goal we conceded from a corner after our marking was sloppy, which never happened before lockdown and is now happening far too often, yesterday we focused on defending dead-ball situations in training and this mistake goes to show just how important this is at the moment. The 40 points we’ve won so far this season have been the result of how we’ve read games throughout this season. Certainly the issue here isn’t fitness, because against Fiorentina we improved later in the game, the problem is in fact related to players who aren’t totally match-fit, and this certainly has an impact on the team, just like playing without an out-and-out centre-forward is really tough and this is becoming a consistent issue – it happened last year, and this year it’s happened again. We’ll keep trying to improve, but we’ve got to be happy with mounting a comeback after finding ourselves in such a predicament, but equally we’ve got to think about the fact that we can’t let the opposition have so many easy chances like we did today.”

“I think that today’s game should trigger the realisation that this team has shown really great qualities, which, to be honest, isn’t all that easy on the back of four consecutive defeats, when we can take less and less for granted. It’s easy to lose focus and complain about the referee’s decisions because some of those calls go against you, but for our part, the only thing that we can do is work on own game, our concentration, and on conceding as little as possible. Before the Serie A restart we had the fifth-best defence in the league, which shows that our team were performing well and keeping a compact shape in all phases of play. But recently it has often seemed like our players have been expecting the impetus for change to come from a teammate, rather than trying to get us out of this predicament themselves. But the only thing I can find fault with are the three bad halves we’ve played in recent matches – the first halves against SPAL and Fiorentina and the first half today. However, I don’t see the point in laying into the boys for their performances the rest of the time, despite the difficulties that we’ve faced and even if we’ve lost matches. You’ve got to give the boys credit for how much they have been putting into training during the week.”

Inglese? Well, we’d planned to give him some minutes. Everything is done with planning for the good of the team. After you get influenced by a result, we always try to play with the best possible eleven. We were forced to make a few different choices today, but this is the coach’s role: when you win, you’re a good coach and when you lose, you’re not. We took our time to make a decision with Roberto, knowing full well that he wouldn’t play more than a few minutes, so we didn’t start him. I’m happy for him, it’s not been easy for him. I’m pleased that he scored and especially for the fact that it meant we came out with a positive result. I’m pleased for him and the rest of the team, both because we were able to get the draw late on and because we’ve got a player back who is really important to our playstyle.

“I wouldn’t say tonight’s line-up was an experiment. We played the same way as in the game earlier in the season, with Darmian playing higher up on the right, and we managed to equalise in the 94th minute after a corner. We fell behind not due to the formation, but because of how we played in the first half. Dejan is an important player for us. Analysing all of the data shows that he’s played a lot. His recent performances haven’t been great, but I think he also just needed a rest, the same goes for Gervinho. He definitely changed the game off the bench, which he probably wouldn’t have been able to do if he’d started. We’ve reduced his minutes, which is also very important right now. A coach tries to analyse training and then make initial choices based on that. Our aim is to get them going forward. Before the game, I spoke about how we’d have chances to beat Bologna and that we should aim for tenth. Given that we’re not mathematically safe, our aim is just to look ahead and do the best we can.”