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Montella On Dnipro: “A Difficult Game Awaits Us”

montellaFiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella spoke to the media this afternoon ahead of his side’s final Europa League group match on Thursday, and emphasized the mental aspect of the game. “We are not capable of a ‘drawing’ mentality. We are built to to make the game, [and] our biggest difficulties come when we are forced to defend,” said the Italian manager when asked how his side would approach a game where a draw would win Group E for la Viola. “We’ll need to keep Dnipro far from our box. Every game is a test, both for me and for the team. The first leg [at Dnipro], with that passionate feeling on the field, should be our starting point. There was both the pride of the team and of the individuals. I saw a greater furor [then] which should always be there, even in [Serie A].”

Asked on how his team would respond after the defeat in Rome on Sunday, Montella went on: “It’s always better to play right after a loss, however a loss might come about. It’s important to talk about the [coming] game because in this moment that’s what’s important. We get to play for first place which could help us in the draw.” Montella talked little about team selection, and was predictably enigmatic; he refused to say whether or not backup goalkeeper Munua would continue to play Europa League matches for Fiorentina: “Tomorrow the best players will play, but also with considerations for opponent’s characteristics… We’ll see tomorrow who starts between the posts.”

On the knockout rounds and the arrival of Champions League teams, Montella emphasized the athletic challenge: “The Champions League has a very different physical level to our competition [so far]. In the second phase of the Europa League there will be games at the Champions League level.” He also spared a respectful thought on the drop-down of Juventus to the Europa League: “We already have one finalist [then].”

But Montella was clear that his focus was aimed at tomorrow’s tie: “Dnipro is strong team, we saw that in the first leg, but we care about arriving first. A difficult match awaits us.”



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