Parma, 11th August 2018 – Ahead of Parma Calcio’s first test of the season – a third round Coppa Italia clash against Pisa on Sunday 12th August at 20:30 CEST – and their final training session at the Tardini, Coach Roberto D’Aversa today spoke to the press in the stadium’s media room.

Here’s what he had to say:

“We’re coming into this game with a bit more enthusiasm than usual, largely due to the final verdict after a rather unpleasant situation. Finally, we can just focus on the football and play this match, before then thinking about the league. We have some injuries and some players who’ll have to adapt to certain positions that may not suit their characteristics, but I have full confidence in the lads. They’ve put the work in over our summer friendlies, demonstrating a mentality that we’ve built up through training.

“The risk of playing a team in a lower division is that you underestimate them. However, I am convinced that the lads won’t do so. Our opposition is a good team and they beat a side from Serie B in the last round. We’ll need to show maximum commitment and determination to get the result.

“Our work has been positive so far, even if we’ve been a bit unlucky with injuries. An example being Sierralta who hurt his ankle. These type of situations slow things down a bit, but the work as a whole has been excellent. One must consider that the workload has been high up until last week, while now we can ease off a little bit so that we start the season in the best possible fashion.

“There are about five or six matches where we cannot slip up this year, however, we must also try to pick up results against the stronger teams on paper because the beauty of football means that anything can happen. The fundamental thing is the final objective that we’ve set out for this season. If we are aware of where we are going then we’ll be able to achieve our final goal of avoiding relegation.

“The market? I’ll work with what I have available. The recent final verdict? From a motivational point of view, this can help us. Not only for us but also for the entire club. I have not even been here for two years and already we’ve experienced two unpleasant scenarios, both of which have gone in our favour. This club is made up of good people and some have tried to tarnish their work. I played football for more than 20 years and a club like this is extremely hard to find.

“All of this must not detract from the work that was put in and the planning. Recently, we’ve heard people talk about buying teams in Serie D and helping them return to Serie A, but it’s not that easy. The fact that Parma and the city of Parma have managed it is important and everyone deserves this success. After the club’s last failure, everyone came together to help achieve this goal. Now it’s over and the most important thing is to remain in the league. This historic achievement will be made even better by avoiding relegation this year.

“To progress in the Coppa Italia is important. It allows us to get more minutes under our belt and it also gives some of the players more chance to play. However, it’s most important because a team needs to win to build a winning mentality. This is what I want and also for the lads to always go out there and give it their all. Has anything changed since the last sentence? The situation is the same out on the pitch, but our enthusiasm dropped off a but after some articles were published in the newspapers. It felt as if we hadn’t achieved something historic. However, let’s now focus on the positives. Justice has been done and what has happened will not cancel out everything we achieved out on the pitch. The thing that annoyed me most was that some tried spoil all the hard work and sacrifice that we put in, but let’s now focus on the football.

“Tomorrow’s formation? At the moment we’re struggling a bit with injuries and suspensions in defence. I will also have to analyse some players who are not in the best physical condition. I’ll wait until later today before I decide on a final formation.”