Collecchio, 14 July 2020 – With just one day left until AC Milan vs. Parma, matchday 33 in Serie A TIM which kicks off at 19:30 CEST tomorrow at the Stadio San Siro, Coach Roberto D’Aversa had the following things to say in his pre-match press conference with Parma Calcio 1913’s official website.
How’s the team doing ahead of the game against AC Milan?
“Kucka won’t make the trip because he’s got a problem, but everyone else is available. Cornelius is back, Siligardi’s back. Other than Kucka it’s just Scozzarella who will be out with a calf issue.”
Could the last-gasp draw against Bologna provide a psychological boost for Parma for the game against AC Milan and the games to come?
“In terms of the table it doesn’t change a lot. In terms of mentality it’s huge, because the psychological effect – given the spell we’re coming from – has always had the opposite given that we’ve always come away with defeats despite deserving something more. The game against Bologna was important from a mental point of view, because we were two goals down and to come back like we did, just as we deserved to do in the second half, gives an extra boost going into a game against a team like AC Milan, who, post-lockdown, are on the second best form after Atalanta.”
There’s very little time to rest in between games. Have you worked on the team’s psychological approach to playing against a difficult opponent, such as AC Milan?
“There’s a lot to work on and not a lot of time to do it. We’re focusing more on getting the players who maybe haven’t played as much fit and on recovery for those who have been playing. Where approach is concerned, sometimes it also depends on where you are before a game, because against both Fiorentina and Bologna, the desire was to get off to a good start. It didn’t end up that way, but it’s a product of this poor period. I hope that we can repeat Sunday’s result, not so much the performances as they’re always there, but the attention to detail, which, given the fact that we’re playing every three days, is not there now, so errors are creeping in that weren’t there before.”
What are you expecting from the team tomorrow from a physical and mental standpoint? What pitfalls are there with a game against a team like AC Milan?
“AC Milan are a strong team with a clear goal. They’re fighting for Europa League football right now, but at the start of the season, their objective was to reach the Champions League. With respect to the start, they now have a player like Ibrahimovic, who I think has brought a lot at a technical, tactical and mental level. They’re playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation, which they’re developing in a very specific way according to the players they have on the pitch. They have full-backs who like to push high like Theo Hernandez and Conti, and up top they have a lot of options for rotation. We need to factor in the quality they have at their disposal and the fact that AC Milan are on really good run, despite their opponents having been Juventus, Lazio and Napoli. They’re on a real high right now, both mentally and physically. It won’t be an easy game, but there are no easy games in Serie A. We’ve paid a heavy price in these last five games and, above all, in those four defeats, because if we don’t play with determination, grit, attention and a desire to make life difficult for our opponents, then we’re in trouble. If instead we play with these characteristics, characteristics we’ve shown for large parts of the campaign, we can do very well. Let’s not forget that it was precisely these players of mine who helped us reach the 40-point mark, they’ve done so well up to now. We can’t just judge them on a recent run of bad results and poor form, instead we ought to look at their performances, which have always been good.”