Pioli hails Fiorentina character in Atalanta win

Pioli hails Fiorentina character in Atalanta win

30/09/2018 18:43


Stefano Pioli was full of praise for this side after they dug deep to beat Atalanta 2-0 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday.

"We’ve won a very tough game and I’ve said well done to the players for that," said Pioli, speaking in his post-match press conference. "They gritted their teeth and worked hard – we weren’t at our brilliant best and maybe I was wrong not to make more changes to the line-up given it was our fifth game in two weeks."

Pioli stressed the importance of performances like this one in the evolution of his young side.

"Atalanta played well but we showed character, determination and desire to get a big result," he said. "We dug in and got it done, which is a great thing for a young team like mine. We want to try to win games by playing better than our opponents, but the great teams also win when they don’t play well. We’ve done that today against a very good side."

The Viola boss also revealed what he said to the players after a gruelling first half.

"I tried to sort a few things out I’d seen on the pitch – our positioning could have been better at times," he said. "I made them aware that it wasn’t our best day at the office, but that it’s those kinds of days when they need to give everything they have, hang in there and go beyond what seems possible. I wanted them to show their character and thankfully they took me at my word and produced a second-half performance marked by huge desire and sacrifice."

This non-stop Serie A schedule leaves no time for dwelling on games, however, and Pioli was keen to switch the focus to Sunday’s visit to Lazio.

"I’ve rewarded them with an extra day off, because they deserve it and because we need to recoup our energy ahead of the Lazio game. Right now that’s the most important thing," he said.

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