Collecchio, 18 July 2020 – on the eve of Parma vs. Sampdoria, our Serie A Tim clash scheduled for 17:15 CEST at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, Coach Roberto D’Aversa made the following statements about the match to Parma Calcio 1913’s official website.

Will anyone be coming back from injury ahead of tomorrow’s match?
“We will be without Grassi and Darmian who are suspended, and Kucka and Cornelius won’t be playing a part in the match. We will assess Bruno Alves’ condition – he trained separately this morning.”

Do you sense an increasing desire, or even a feeling of necessity, to get points on the table?
“Of course it’s a necessity. We need more than mere desire. We need to go out onto the pitch aware of the fact that we’re facing an emergency as far as results are concerned, because we’re coming off five defeats in our last six games, so it’s a wake-up call: each of our players must have the pride and the sense of urgency to show that they’re fit to wear the shirt, and to take action to get us out of this situation. I hope there is the desire, the determination and the ruthlessness to bring home a result because we are having a post-lockdown run that could ruin everything we’d achieved before. And since the trials and tribulations of last season are still fresh in our memories, what we need to think about in tomorrow’s game is that with tomorrow’s game we’re in a position to reach mathematical safety, and we’ll improve on what we did last year. Therefore, there’s plenty to motivate us if losing five out of six games since lockdown isn’t already enough. For a sportsman there must be pride in getting out of a predicament like this one.”

You mentioned Cornelius’ absence: will Inglese be able to start from the beginning? How many minutes do you reckon you can get out of him?
“Roberto’s coming into this game on the road to recovery, and it wouldn’t be the right call to start him. He’s coming into this one from two brief but fruitful appearances off the bench. It’s clear that the emergency we find ourselves in could force me to start him but that’s a call I’ll leave until the last moment. The most important thing is for him to not get hurt. When we’re up against it, we will find a solution as we have always done. Tough times have always brought the best out of this team. Right now we’re having trouble with the number of players out injured, suspensions, players recovering and all. I hope we can go back to playing in the way we’ve shown we’re capable of doing this season and last season alike, because this team has always shown great pride in what they do and the desire to get the result at all costs. This is the key thing, we shouldn’t be thinking about performance, we shouldn’t be making excuses of any kind. Each of our players must go on the pitch with the will to do better, with the will to get us out of this hole, without waiting for teammates or someone else to step in when it’s really their responsibility.”

You spoke about the defensive side of things after the Milan match. What are you working on in this respect? Are you focusing on being attentive, taking care of the details or something else?
“We always look at the details. I don’t believe that the players have a desire to concede goals. This area was a strength of ours before: prior to lockdown, we had the fifth best defence. But it wasn’t because we worked differently when preparing for matches, it was more of a case of playing as a team and being attentive. We’re not doing so well defensively at the moment, we’re working on it but need to regain our solidity if we want to achieve successful results again.”

We’ll be facing an in-form Sampdoria side tomorrow. What kind of game will it be and what are you expecting from them?
“Despite not making too many changes during the January transfer window, we’ll be facing a completely different side compared to the reverse fixture. They’re full of confidence, in good shape physically, have found balance, and play in an aggressive and courageous manner. It certainly won’t be an easy game. They’ve got a great coach in Claudio Ranieri, who is also a great man. Irrespective of who you’re facing, your desire, determination and grit needs to be superior to the opposition if you want to secure a good result. For us, it’s a question of finding that confidence, that ruthlessness, that determination again. Results breed confidence, so we need to do everything we can to achieve a positive outcome tomorrow. We’re highly motivated, and I want to see the characteristics that have always distinguished us out on the pitch. These games are important with both the future and present in mind as we look to mathematically secure our Serie A status.”