Thiago Motta believes Fiorentina are a ‘dangerous’ opponent and plays down talk of a contract extension with Bologna: ‘Let’s think about the match’. The Gialloblu are on a remarkable unbeaten run, stretching back to the first day of the season, having gone 12 games unbeaten in all competitions. The exceptional form has prompted discussion of a contract renewal for Motta, but the coach insists there will be time for that after the match against Fiorentina tomorrow afternoon:
“Respect is there for all teams, but we will think about us and what we have to do. We know that on paper we will still play against teams better equipped than ours but we will face them at our best and with the concentration of everyone.
“Nzola? He has enormous potential and today he plays in a very strong team like Fiorentina. When he attacks deep he is an important player with enormous physical gifts. Both he and Beltran are dangerous in depth and on our part we will pay maximum attention to these aspects of the game.
“Every game is important, we must know what to avoid and what to exploit in order to compete against Fiorentina.
“The players feel good, then when the results come it is easier, however, we know that on paper there are better equipped teams and we must always be at our best and united in what we do in order to compete against top teams. The boys know what values we have to start from and they have always done so since they have been here. Fiorentina is a European team, they can afford economic parameters of a certain type and from our side the only thing we can do is to give our best as always.”
“Calafiori in the national team? Spalletti must be asked. Riccardo is a great guy, he’s doing well, he trains well and I’m happy to have him in the group. We now also have the return of Lucumi and it will be a competition that will make both grow. We had a setback with Karlsson who took a knock to the knee and we will evaluate him.
“Ancelotti’s comment? Everything Carlo says must be listened to, the results speak for him and he says many true things. I always try to give the players freedom to express themselves, but always within a general organisation because in chaos it is always difficult to bring out the best. But I agree with him, freedom must be given to the player. We from the outside can only help them with information, but they are the protagonists.
“Ferguson scored more than Koopmeiners and Rabiot? We are talking about two very strong players. Lewis works morning, afternoon and evening. He recovers to the maximum and deserves everything for the work he does.
“Kristiansen? He is an interesting player and has good competition because Lykogiannis is in a good moment. That makes the two of them and especially the team grow”.
“Italiano has been doing well for a long time and his teams have this strength to put so many men in the offensive phase. They play wide and attack between the lines, then cross into the box attacking the goal with force. Fiorentina is a very dangerous team. There are many changes of play, they start from the defence drawing the opponent to one side to uncover the other. We know that they press forward man on man, they don’t leave time to play and we’ll have to be good with the ball.”
“Contract extension? There will be time to talk about that after the game.”