Collecchio, 6 October 2018 – After training this morning at Collecchio, Roberto D’Aversa spoke to the press ahead of tomorrow’s 12:30 CEST kick-off at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris against Genoa. 

“Playing at 12:30 is a matter of habit, it’s problematic for all. We’ll have lunch very early and some breakfast before for those who want it. The time is the same for everyone and it absolutely must not be an excuse. For the line-up, I’ll have to make evaluations up to the last moment, considering also the final training session this morning. But, these are decisions that I always make at the last moment. I also believe that it’s a form of respect for the guys to really think about who plays. All the guys deserve to play but I can only pick eleven unfortunately. Siligardi? I have to say that he has done very well. In terms of definitive choices, I need to evaluate every situation. It’s clear that he’s not started a game for a long time, so I will have to evaluate his condition and Amato’s. There are different options out wide, I can pick one of them or both. It’s a decision I’ll wait until the very end before making.” 

“The strength of the group and desire to approach a match must overcome the number of absences. I’m very confident, because when we have had these difficulties before, the team showed it could be strong together to overcome them. In this regard, I’m very calm because whoever plays tomorrow will want to show that they’re in excellent shape or otherwise the Coach has got the decisions wrong. I’m quite confident about this.

“Often, the injury situation is being analysed but three of them are carrying over from last this season. There are five injuries from this season which is a normal average for anyone. I obviously feel bad for the guys who are injured, Sierralta hurt himself taking a penalty in the warm-up while Grassi and Inglese have been forced out by blows picked up through their careers and I remember very few of these injuries. Then, you look to analyse and improve everything but things can also just happen randomly. In terms of muscular issues that have come about through work, there’s Gazzola who hurt himself before the Sampdoria friendly while it was a unique situation for Biabiany as he hadn’t played for four months. The issue with Gervinho is very minor, thankfully we took precautions in our management of him. He played in a league that had a different level of intensity compared to the Italian one or a European one and certain things have to be taken into account.

“I don’t believe in bad luck or good luck, I believe in work. Episodes have an impact on the result but this is true in a positive or negative sense. This group has a lot about it despite what happened over the summer. We must look to bring the points home in order to stay up. I leave the rest to the other because they’re used to it.

“We still have room to improve, you can never feel you’ve made it and be content. It’s right to analyse mistakes in order to look to improve both in terms of conditioning and our play. It’s normal that with time and consistency, things can be improved from an aesthetic standpoint. For example, Empoli have been playing with the same ideas for five or six years.” 

Bruno Alves and Riccardo Gagliolo have recovered 100 per cent. It’s clear that have some small issues but they’ll still take to the pitch with some difficulties and this shows the attachment these guys feel to the shirt. There’s a strong sense of belonging to these colours and this can be seen.

“We’re all in a development process, the players and me as well seeing as I’m still young.  If you analyse things from last year, I can’t say that the guys didn’t have the attributes because we won promotion. I’m thinking of tomorrow because we’re facing a side who would be second if they win their rearranged fixture with Milan and these results aren’t a fluke. We’ll play in a stadium that is very tough to visit, with a crowd that will give 110 per cent. We think about what we have to do, not what we have done.

“Piatek is the league’s top scorer but there’s more to Genoa than just him. He’s an important player who has scored in every game and he dribbles the ball well. Genoa have lots of players who can hurt us, we’ll have to do well and work from the off and focus mentally to realise that we’re playing a good team that are where they are in the table because they have quality. Just one example, Criscito is an Italy international.

Iacoponi? Nothing in life is impossible, it’s nice to see such players in this division. He has won two promotions and now he’s approaching this Serie A season well and showing that he belongs at this high level. This is the same for the others too. Are we not scoring from set pieces? In Serie A, it’s harder and teams are more organised. We can do better here because we do have the potential to be dangerous in this regard.”