PRESS CONFERENCE | Ranieri after Cagliari-Hellas Verona

First Team - 01/04/2024

Thus Claudio Ranieri after the 1-1 home draw against Hellas Verona. The red and blue coach’s analysis with the media present at the Unipol Domus.

“Verona was good with its defenders and its defensive phase to limit us in the first half, in the second half we came out playing the game we wanted and creating more. I knew they would always put the ball vertically, going into midfield on second balls, so I didn’t want to accept this challenge on their turf, hence the decision to keep four offensive elements up, we didn’t succeed and after half-time we went back to a more usual system of play for us. Penalty on Luvumbo? The referees’ standard is clear: to whistle a penalty you need a major foul, Luvumbo went down too early, the same situation in the middle of the pitch would probably have been judged with a penalty and a caution, just as they threw Makoumbou out in Rome with Lazio. But for me Doveri refereed very well”.

“We did not approach the match well, Verona did well and luckily Scuffet was good in those opportunities we conceded. I had to take off a good Shomurodov, in my opinion one of the best on the pitch, because I lacked a man to act as a glue between the departments to make us play the way we know how to play. Hellas gave a tenacious performance, but in the second half we did very well and I’m happy for the three youngsters who took over well and with desire: I’m talking about Sulemana, Prati and Oristanio who did well, are growing and have given us a lot.

“This draw is very positive. Verona is a great team that has put great teams in trouble. To have responded blow by blow pleased me. This draw must leave us positive, the performance satisfies me, let’s go on this way. We must always try to win, but especially when you’re losing and your opponents cancel a goal, it’s normal to think: if I can’t win, better not to lose. I was very worried on the eve of this challenge because I know Verona and the skill of Baroni. We only made mistakes defensively on the action of the goal and in the management of some ball possessions, when we allowed them the restarts. I think both teams should be congratulated for their performance.”

“We are well, we are physically and mentally healthy, we know we are facing three bigs in a row, we will have to scrape something together. Today we knew it was tough, good not to lose when you can’t win, we were saved by Scuffet and the offside trap, we had our chances, the draw fits. We must not give up, nobody gives up. It will be a battle until the last moment. Having recovered today I don’t say that it gives us enthusiasm but it confirms that we are alive and fighting. We play, determined, even in the most difficult and almost impossible matches on paper. Today we wanted to win, we didn’t succeed, honour to the opponent and we will try against the big ones as with all of them”.

“Sulemana can give great consistency, he has determination, stamina and running, he hurt his ankle at the best time, I recovered him slowly and today it seemed right to give him the final half-hour, I saw him last year in Verona and he impressed me, he has huge margins for improvement. Prati is getting back to his best after a slump after a very bright start. Pavoletti and Petagna? They’re not well unfortunately, they’re trying to recover from their respective injuries, Petagna isn’t at Cagliari yet and he’s still recovering, the soleus is very sneaky… But I have very motivated lads at my disposal who give me ample guarantees. Gaetano didn’t play because I had too many players who weren’t at their best, between injuries and returns from national teams, and I didn’t want to insert another man with a question mark. I didn’t feel like it. Even up until yesterday he was out of the call-ups. Verona is a very physical team and that’s why I preferred to put Viola in and not him. I didn’t want to risk an even bigger injury. Oristanio couldn’t come in earlier, he had returned from the national team very tired, Nandez had also come back from two matches with Uruguay, everyone is giving 100% and I’m very happy about that.”

“We are a bit masochistic (laughs, ed) in having to wait for the slap to react and change our faces. Actually I have nothing to reproach my team because they did everything I asked of them. Then in the second half we did something more and I am happy”.

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