Parma, 19 July 2020 – Roberto D’Aversa spoke following the match today against Sampdoria.

“What happened today happened despite one of the best first-half performances of the season. We went two up and created other chances and then in the second, we conceded straight away from a corner which is happening a lot in this moment. We then fell apart and stopped playing and winning one-on-ones. We’re talking about a game where there was only one side in it in the first half and now we’re here talking about a defeat which would have been unthinkable in the first half. It’s probable that it’s also a result of this period, it’s inexplicable though to fall apart after conceding and to become afraid of playing. This needs to make us reflect, the lessons taught must help us and I hope that this defeat will make us hungrier, more determined and ruthless for the games we’ve got left.

“Today, we had the chance to get a win and mathematically secure safety which has been our aim and we’d have improved on last season. In the first half, we went two up then we weren’t good and couldn’t bring home a result. We must all examine our consciences because I’m not here to point the finger at anybody. We had a big opportunity and it’s very disappointing so everyone must reflect on the situation and how to get out of it. At least play with character and without fear because you won’t get anything with fear. In the first half, we were playing a great game without any strikers. We know the difficulties caused by injuries and suspensions. Since I’ve been here in Lega Pro, we played eight times with strikers using Baraye, in Serie B it was the same without Ceravolo and Calaiò. It’s been the same for the last two years so I’m not looking for any excuses. Of course, missing important players makes a difference but we can’t think bout those who aren’t playing and must focus on those who are. We need to think about what happened and do it in a way that allows us to turn this around.

“I think that more than the physical side, the mental side is the problem for us at the moment. Analysing the data from the match which is objective and not subjective, we’re constantly improving physically. Today, we definitely spent a lot of energy in the first half. It was one of our best halves in the season. We created a lot but then the team fell apart at the moment we conceded and that’s a mental issue, not a physical one. Of course, the lads were disappointed at the end. We need to get out of this and everyone needs to focus on themselves. We’re all in the same boat. Like when we were doing well before lockdown, we’re all in it together and we need to get out of this together.

“At the moment, we’re suffering mentally and things could be different at this time. When you play every three days, it helps to have a bigger squad and we can’t do this with our injuries and suspensions. If you analyse all of the games since the restart, we started with a draw at Torino and a win at Genoa after a great game. Against Inter and Verona, the performances were great but we didn’t get any points. This is how it is in Serie A. When you play thinking you’ve already got something and fail to fight for every ball, it causes problems eventually. The absences can’t be an excuse but they are a problem if we don’t show the determination that has been one of the features that has allowed us to do great things. We had an extraordinary first half and then we disappeared for the second. It’s not about players missing, the referees or any of this. We all need to do more, you can understand that from the first bit of play in the second half when we looked for a nutmeg rather than a challenge in the opposition box. We’re looking to work on everything. Of course, the mental side isn’t easy when people are disappointed and demoralised and results aren’t coming. We need to do well and relight that spark that was there in the first half. Nothing is going our way at the moment, two weeks in quarantine didn’t help and we’re paying a high price for it all at the moment.”