Montella hails Fiorentina reaction in Parma draw

Montella hails Fiorentina reaction in Parma draw

03/11/2019 21:57

Vincenzo Montella was full of praise for his Fiorentina side after they shook off a lacklustre opening period to fight back for a point in the 1-1 draw with Parma in Florence on Sunday evening.

Montella admitted that his players were off the pace in the first half, which ended with Fiorentina trailing 1-0 after Gervinho’s 39th-minute strike.

“I didn’t like the performance in the first half,” said Montella after the game. “We lacked the impetus and intensity you need to play in a game like this. I don’t know why that was – there could be many reasons. We’ve played a lot of games and had five or six players under the age of 23, so perhaps some of them felt the pressure and felt they had to win because thankfully that’s the atmosphere we’ve been able to create. It could be a bit of everything.”

Yet the Viola coach was pleased with the reaction from his team after the break as they levelled the scores through Gaetano Castrovilli on 66 minutes.

“The team responded well in the second half so that showed that the lads have maturity and quality,” he said. “Sometimes you’re not able to turn that kind of game around against an experienced team like Atalanta, but we did that – we got more tempo into our play, made more movement without the ball, attacked the goal more and played with a bit more courage. I’m pleased with that. We had a lot of the ball and had 19 shots, so we need to be a bit more accurate to go to the next level.”

Montella sent two young strikers on in the second half – Pedro and Dusan Vlahovic – as the Viola went looking for all three points, but called for patience as the youngsters adapt to first-team action.

“Pedro’s fitness is improving and he’s settling in,” he said. “We’re not in a rush with him. He’s our player and he needs to adapt to the football here. I was hoping he could get a goal tonight, even though he only had five minutes – same with Vlahovic. We need to be patient before we judge him because he’s definitely got a lot more to come.”

A win would have moved Fiorentina level on points with Napoli, but Montella was quick to dispel any sense of disappointment around the game.

“We have an identity, we have a bond, we have enthusiasm – that’s what sport is about,” he said. “I’m enjoying it and I hope that everyone else is too. We’re building something big, in my opinion. We’re all doing a good job. The fans were cheering us on right until the end tonight and we need to keep that going. It’s good when a team fights, with six young players on the pitch, against a really experienced team like Parma. It’s not easy so let’s give the lads time – let’s allow them to make mistakes.”

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