Vincenzo Montella hailed Fiorentina’s newfound “maturity” and after leaping into fourth place confirmed their Champions League ambitions.
The Viola earned a 2-0 victory away to Lazio this evening, going past both the Biancocelesti and Inter into the top four.
“The team played with maturity and character in a difficult arena after four consecutive away defeats. The thing I liked most was the mentality, approach and interpretation we gave to the match,” said the Coach.
“The first half was particularly strong and we took advantage of Lazio’s fatigue after the break, but throughout we had the initiative and basically controlled the game.
“The table is very tight and we could finish third or seventh. This result makes us a little more optimistic, but it’s still a tough road and we have to realise the sacrifices it took to get this win so that it can add to our experience.”
Above all, Fiorentina dominated possession and kept the ball for long periods at the Olimpico, even under a heavy thunderstorm.
“We were worried before kick-off with all that rain, but the pitch held out very well. We were under pressure towards the end of the first half when Lazio fought back, but we were able to hold out and keep going.
“Lazio have been solid throughout the campaign, but Fiorentina showed the same level of maturity as Lazio and we should treasure this experience. Our ambitions are high and we deserve to be challenging for these positions.”
Stevan Jovetic celebrated his opening goal by pointing to his crotch and Montella revealed why.
“Before the game I told the players that more than anything else they needed balls. I should remember to point that out before every match if this is the result!
“We are under construction, but are still happy with the way we are going. You either have temperament or you don’t and some players have more than others. Over the season Fiorentina have shown they have character and ambition, such as our victory away to Milan.
“We had a few slip-ups, but these things can happen in a season.”
Former Roma player Montella has fond memories of March 10, as 11 years ago today he scored four goals past Lazio.
“The joy of a Coach probably ends tomorrow, whereas a player keeps hold of it and enjoys it forever. I’m still enjoying those four goals!”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!