Sacked Fiorentina boss Delio Rossi has explained why he attacked one of his own players on the touchline in midweek.
The tactician, subsequently dismissed for his actions, punched Adem Ljajic after a brief verbal exchange following the player’s early substitution.
The former Lazio boss left the Stadio Franchi in silence on Wednesday after the 2-2 draw with Novara, but spoke to the media today.
“It’s hard for me to be here as I’ve come to say goodbye to the city of Florence,” he stated. “I’m not good with words and I’ll just say what I think, even if I’ll keep some thoughts to myself.
“Unfortunately my time here is over, it was an adventure that I still believe in and I thank the Della Valle family.
“I’m saddened about the incident and I say sorry to the people of Florence, my players, the club and Ljajic.”
Although Rossi wouldn’t go into specifics, he did seem to intimate that 20-year-old Ljajic had insulted him and his family.
“I’ve never slapped anyone, but I demand respect for the club I train and my family,” Rossi continued. “That is why I reacted.
“Certain lines should not be crossed. If someone touches my family, I can’t pretend that I didn’t hear it.
“I’ll rightly pay the price as my actions were disgraceful, but they were humanly justifiable.”
The man who replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic earlier in the campaign has been heavily criticised in the media for his actions.
“I want to underline something,” he continued. “I’ve heard some things that have annoyed me. A lot of moralists have made judgements without being there, without knowing my story.
“There is an Indian proverb that says that before making a judgement about a person, you have to walk in their shoes for two days. I believe in that.
“I think words can often cause greater wounds than swords. I’ve never raised my hands to my children, never mind someone else.”
Rossi has been replaced by Vincenzo Guerini for the last two games of the season and the axed tactician has underlined that the club now need to think about safety.
“The boat is almost in the port, but it hasn’t docked yet,” he added.
“The ball is still rolling and what is needed now is that the people of Florence stay close to the squad and the Della Valle family.
“I’ve always said that Coaches and players come and go, but the colours remain.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.