Caretaker manager Vincenzo Guerini credited Delio Rossi with Fiorentina’s Serie A safety and reveals his pre-match team talk.
The team manager was promoted to the role of Coach after Rossi was fired on Wednesday night for physically attacking Adem Ljajic.
His debut, which was his first Serie A match in 14 years, was a 1-0 victory away to Lecce that mathematically rules out the threat of relegation.
“I absolutely did not steer Fiorentina to safety,” insisted Guerini. “There was work done by two Coaches before me, above all by Rossi recently, and we had already seen improvements in our away form.
“We have often done well outside Florence, while at home there are some psychological problems of the pressure caused by our fans. At least we avoided the humiliation of challenging for safety on the final day of the season.
“I have to compliment the players, as they held out though many were in disastrous physical condition. Many couldn’t play at all, others hadn’t played in a long time.”
Guerini has repeatedly denied he will remain on the Fiorentina bench beyond the last games of this season.
“It’s not up to me anyway. Before the match I tried to work on the pride of these lads, making the most of the criticism aimed at the team. I told them to leave the field with their heads held high.
“I have to say recently they have been showing some pride anyway.”