Sassuolo President Carlo Rossi insists the club were not even tempted to sack boss Eusebio Di Francesco following the 7-0 loss to Inter.
The tactician’s job was placed into some doubt after that Week 4 reverse, but the side have gone on to pick up 10 points from their next eight games.
“Every chairman would be tempted to sack the Coach, but it wasn't our case,” Rossi said as he received the Premio Viareggio Sport award for the historical promotion of the Emilia-based team to Serie A.
“We appreciate Di Francesco both as a person and as a football manager, for he was on the top of Serie B last season from the very first match day.
“It would have been a pity to fire him only after four matches, but now we have turned the corner.
“Sometimes, when a team is in trouble it's not the Coach's fault – the squad and the board play a crucial role too.
“We are aware that we'll have to struggle until the end of the season.”
Things have changed drastically at the Neroverdi since Rossi was named as chief.
“When I was appointed as Sassuolo chairman nine years ago, we managed to avoid relegation from the Fourth Division and nowadays we are playing in Serie A.
“If I tell you that we want to qualify for the Champions League you may laugh, but it is somehow fair to be ambitious.”
Rossi still works for Mapei, the construction materials company which now owns the club.
“We decided to invest in football whilst coming home from a fair in the USA. We met three pottery businessmen from Sassuolo who asked Mapei to be sponsor of the local team, who were playing in the fourth tier.
“We had just ended the experience in cycling and our sponsorship in football began with a three-year contract. Now we own the club. It's amazing.”
Report and image by Simone Pierotti