Montella calls for “energy, desire and positivity” on return to Florence

Montella calls for “energy, desire and positivity” on return to Florence

11/04/2019 17:06

Vincenzo Montella has called for Fiorentina to come together and focus on the future after his return to the club was confirmed this week.

Speaking at his first press conference on Wednesday, Montella – who was in charge of the Viola between 2012 and 2015 – identified “energy, desire and positivity” as the keys to finishing the season on a high.

How will your second Fiorentina tenure to be different to your first? Why did you decide to come back?

“I was convinced by the family and by the sporting director – we spoke about football for three hours. It was a different Fiorentina side when I was here before and that cycle came to an end. It was good for all parties that we went our separate ways because it was time. It ended quite abruptly but we cleared all that up – we’re decent, loyal people. Now we’re at the beginning of a new cycle. In terms of how far we can go, that will be decided on the pitch and by what we’re able to achieve. We need to create enthusiasm around the team and get some energy back, because right now there’s something that is preventing the results from coming. If we stick together it will be good for us all – the sporting director, the club, the owners, the fans. The fans are disappointed but who wouldn’t be? They expected more but I believe in this team and I believe we can start a new cycle. Time will tell where we can go.”

What was the first thing you said to the team?

“I just said a quick hello because it’s been a draining couple of days for everyone when there’s a managerial change. As a former player, I can say that it’s always a strange time so you need a period to adapt – that comes to an end today. As of tomorrow, we start again and I want to see players who want to make things happen and be the architects of their own destiny. We can’t think about the past – we need to look to the future and kick on with determination and conviction. That’s what I need to focus on in the coming days. I think I know the players pretty well – I’ve seen Fiorentina play a lot, as I have other teams. You can watch four or five matches a day when you’re at home! I want to see energy, desire to make things happen and focus on the positives, not the negatives. The sooner we do that, the more points we can get. And I think that if we do that soon – and I say this to the fans too – we can turn what has been a strange year into an historic one for Fiorentina.”

What kind of Fiorentina do you want to build over the next two years?

“First of all I want to entertain and achieve results through that, as we did in the past. This is one of the youngest teams in Europe and there is a lot of potential here to work with, definitely. The aim is always to achieve as much as possible. I accepted the job because I love this profession. I’ve had lots of offers over the past few months but none convinced me – I’m at Fiorentina because the club convinced me, because I know the people here and because I spent three hours talking with the sporting director about football. That passion is the reason why I do this job and the reason why I chose Fiorentina. This marvellous city also played a part.”

How have you changed over the past four years?

“I have a few more grey hairs. I have a bit more experience. Even with negative experiences, you still improve. I’m so excited to do this job and see how I can improve the players. It took me no time at all to make up my mind – we didn’t even discuss the contract. We just spoke about football. I love this profession and I love working on the training field.”

Can Fiorentina win the Coppa Italia?

“Up until the turn of the year, the team was a few points off the Champions League places, but since the halfway point the side has been struggling to get the results. I think we have fantastic young players here and they need support because they can struggle when the going gets tough. It’s up to me to support them because they’ve shown that they can do great things. The Coppa Italia is a very important game but we have other objectives too – there are still seven or eight games left in the league. In order to prepare well for the Coppa Italia game we need to do well in the league. Regardless, we need to understand that every game is important for us to improve together.”

This is the third different club you’ll have managed Luis Muriel at. How is he looking?

“I’ve never managed him for a full year – let’s hope I’m able to this time. As you’ve seen, he’s a player with extraordinary potential. We want him to be consistent over 38 games – that’s not easy for anyone, but I think it’s in his consistency and conversion rate that he can do even more, given the quality he has. That said, he’s done very well this year so it’s about keeping that up.”

How fortunate are you to have a player like Federico Chiesa?

“He’s the type of player any coach would like to work with because he has that desire and hunger and shows it in every training session and match.”

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