Pioli lauds Fiorentina spirit

Pioli lauds Fiorentina spirit

04/04/2018 10:42

Stefano Pioli was full of praise for the spirit Fiorentina have shown in recent weeks as they made it five wins from win with a 2-0 defeat of Udinese on Tuesday evening.

"We’re coming to tough grounds and facing difficult opposition, showing character and trying to take the game to them," said the Fiorentina coach, speaking in his post-match press conference. "We want to control matches. We have wonderful spirit and the commitment is sky high. I am hugely proud to coach these players because they’re drawing on resources I didn’t know they had. I’m delighted."

There was another impressive performance from Jordan Veretout, one of the great success stories in Florence this year, with Pioli admitting that his players are raising the bar every week.

"The group is really improving collectively as the individual performances get better," he said "I had great faith in Veretout’s quality but I didn’t think he was going to be able to improve quite so much. He’s a fantastic player – he has character, personality, technical ability…

"There are lots of players that are performing at a very high level and we need to try to keep that up. We still have plenty of games to go and we can still improve our league standing. I’m sure that we’ll give 100% from now until the end of the season – we have some tough matches but it won’t be easy for the other teams either."

The result leaves Fiorentina just three points off sixth place, but Pioli has been reticent to discuss the Viola’s chances of snatching an unlikely Europa League berth.

"It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it," he insisted. "I look at it and we can be satisfied but nothing’s decided yet. Two months ago, after the defeat to Verona, we looked like a team fighting against relegation. We need to stay focused and take it game by game – there are 24 points up for grabs so the table can change."

The trip to Udine was a hugely emotional one for the Fiorentina squad, coming just one month after the death of captain Davide Astori.

"I’ve just try to help the guys feel as comfortable as possible," explained Pioli. "I know how much it’s affecting them and how much they’re hurting, so I just tried to listen to them and speak about the match. Not much time has passed so of course it’s still on our minds and we’ve been very aware that it was only a month ago that we were here before."

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