Collecchio, 25 September 2018 – After finishing their final session before Wednesday’s away game against Napoli, Coach Roberto D’Aversa today held his pre-match press conference at Collecchio.
Here’s what he had to say:
“We’re coming into the Napoli game after a great victory and a wonderful performance. However, a very strong team now awaits us. One must consider that only a few days have passed since Saturday’s strenuous display, however, playing at the San Paolo can spur us on despite the lack of time in between games. It’s hard to shine from a physical point of view when playing two games in quick succession, however, the most important thing is the mental aspect of our game. We’re coming up against a team that pushed Juventus for the title right until the very end last season and who are of the strongest sides in the league.
“Ancelotti is one of the best and he is taking Napoli forward with his own ideas. They performed really well against Torino and they have enormous potential within the team. This year, the Coach has given the players a bit more freedom out on the pitch. It will not be easy but nothing is impossible. It is down to us to make it difficult for them and to try and get a result.
“There will be some changes compared to Saturday. I sent a few players to warm up against Cagliari but I had to make changes due to fitness issues. With three games in a week, you have to make changes. I have alternatives in attack and defence, but we’re struggling a bit in midfield with just four players. I will make my decisions based on fitness, conscious of not looking to risk anyone and also taking into account that we have another game on Sunday. For now, I am looking to play the best team possible tomorrow, also considering that Grassi still isn’t available.
“Ancelotti has proved himself on the European stage and he has triumphed way beyond just his style of play. He is now using a 4-4-2, but considering their last formation it is more of a 4-2-4. I had the fortune of meeting him when I was at the Milan Academy. It’s an honour to now face him as a Coach. However, what counts is putting in a top performance and getting a good result in a difficult game.
“The last match was different from a motivational perspective after winning against Inter. It will certainly be simpler against Napoli, although they have some top players that can play between the lines and we must do well to remain tight and compact. Tactically, we prepare for each game based on the opposition. It will not be easy but we’ll do our best to make their lives difficult.
“Are changes a risk? I must think about playing a team that is in the best physical shape. Continuity is always the ideal thing but I must assess everything after two games in quick succession. We can’t risk any further injuries.
“We’re treating Gervinho in a special way and this is helping to get the very best out of him. He’s intelligent and knows his body very well. He came off the best against Spal and created two great changes in just 20 minutes thanks to his quality – he is a devastating player. As for the defence, they performed well against both Inter and Cagliari – with Dimarco coming in for both. We are well covered in both defence and attack. It is in midfield were we are lacking but we’ll not look for any excuses.”
“Stulac was not at full match fitness for our last game. He had the flu and he was also the first to go on international duty – therefore, he hasn’t trained consistently. He put in a superb performance against an opponent that opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation and looked to mark man-to-man. Ciciretti? He is ready from a physical point of view. We’ll wait and see as we must consider that this would be his first game after a long absence.”