Saponara: "We never stopped believing"

Saponara: "We never stopped believing"

20/03/2017 10:44


Riccardo Saponara praised Fiorentina’s never-say-die attitude after they produced another late winner to beat Crotone 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

Saponara played a key role in the victory, entering the fray on 67 minutes to supply the killer pass for Nikola Kalinic to find the net at the death.

"We never stopped believing," said Saponara, speaking after the game. "I’m delighted because it’s never easy to come off the bench. We created lots of chances and managed to find the breakthrough in the end. Nikola [Kalinic] managed to score from my ball but we could have found the net a lot earlier.

"The fact that it was a last-minute goal gives the impression that it was a closer game than it was, because we made so many chances and definitely could have got the goal and sewed the game up earlier."

Saponara also revealed what instructions coach Paulo Sousa had given him before he came off the bench.

"Initially he told me to play on the left side of attacking midfield, then when we switched to an attacking two I moved into the middle," explained the Italian. "It was quite an even game at the start because they kept it very tight, but we had chances to get our noses in front and we should have done better. That said, sometimes you have to win late – as we did last time. It shows we never stop believing during matches and over the course of a season."

The midfielder went on to hail Kalinic’s importance to the team.

"We all know that Nikola [Kalinic] is a top striker," he said. "He could have had more than one today – his movement makes it easy for us to find him. Our defensive performances have been really pleasing too because we’ve shown that we’re a solid team after that Europa League defeat."

Last but not least, Saponara issued a rallying cry ahead of what promises to be an exciting run-in.

"We have to keep believing and we can’t afford to make any slip ups," he admitted. "There are still nine matches left so the points are up for grabs for us to finish sixth. We believe but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens at the end of the season."

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