Sousa: ‘The new players aren’t ready to make the best decisions’


Salernitana coach Paulo Sousa believes he has ‘interesting’ new players but the team needs time to get to their best. The Granata slipped to their first defeat of the season after encouraging draws against Roma and Udinese, losing 2-0 to a spirited Lecce side.

Speaking with DAZN after the loss, Sousa

“Unfortunately it was a difficult week from the point of view of energy. What we created was superior to what Lecce did, but they are an organised formation, very aggressive, dynamic and physically strong. However, we had a lot of difficulties because the new players are not yet ready to make the best decisions. During the first half we improved progressively in ball possession and, therefore, we worked less defensively. Cabral dropped a lot, he hadn’t played a full game for two years and so I expected him to drop a bit at certain times in the game.

“I’m convinced he can interact well with Kastanos and Candreva, but he needs to adapt to the needs and strategies we implement. I saw an improving Salernitana, unfortunately we didn’t finalise the chance at the end of the first half with Candreva. And the whole second half we created the chances to equalise: there was the post, if we hadn’t lost energy during the week we would have equalised. I add the other chance for Cabral and that shot from the edge of the area by Bohinen, as well as situations in which we missed the last pass. I repeat what I said yesterday: there are some interesting players, but we need time.”

“The mercato? I speak with the president and the sporting director, making analyses and expressing an idea. Assessments are necessary. But the choices are made by the owner and the manager. Dia? Yesterday he needed to tests because his knee was hurting. He did not train the previous day because of a headache and was in no condition to play. Everything else will have to be looked into but it’s not my job. It’s De Sanctis who has been through it all. That’s why I waited for him to speak. I agree with what he said. We are less strong than last year, we lost two decisive players like Piatek and Vilhena. He was growing, now we no longer have him. His replacement is Martegani who comes from a totally different league and needs much more time. Cabral integrated more easily and played a good game, for the others there is work to be done.”

“Cabral? I knew that Lecce communicates well between full-back, midfield and defence. My idea was to keep them lower and try to create numerical superiority. From the offensive point of view I saw good things, Cabral had some difficulties in the non-possession phase and on the position because he made us play deeper a lot. Sometimes Kastanos also did the same thing and this did not allow us to press as we should have. In the second half we did very well with Kastanos, but I preferred to insert a fresh player like Mazzocchi. We were able to trigger Cabral better who, in a central position, made a greater impact and had two chances to score. It’s clear that when you need to equalize you need to insert new energy. I have youngsters at my disposal and I have to work on them, it takes time.”


Serie A obsessive.