NEWS
Tuesday February 11 2014
Montella: 'Viola deserved it'

Vincenzo Montella praised Udinese for their performance, but felt “over 180 minutes Fiorentina deserved the Final.”

The 2-0 victory this evening won the Coppa Italia semi-final 3-2 on aggregate. It is the Viola’s first Final since 2001 and the first of the Della Valle era post-bankruptcy proceedings.

“It was a very difficult game and before celebrating Fiorentina’s performance, I must compliment Udinese for their efforts over both legs. They caused us a lot of problems,” Montella told Rai Sport.

“Having said that, over 180 minutes I feel it was a deserved win and we will enjoy it with our fans, patrons and the whole city. We hope it can become a big moment for Florence.

“We are growing a great deal, although there are some physical problems when playing so often. We saw great team spirit tonight and I’d say the desire was what allowed us to win even more than our technique.”

Juan Guillermo Cuadrado scored a stunning strike, but was also booked in stoppages and will be suspended for the Final on May 3.

“Mario Gomez will be there for the Final! He is recovering and was on the bench tonight, as we might’ve used him if needed for 5-10 minutes. It’s a shame for Cuadrado, but this is football.”

Neto needed some crucial saves to keep Fiorentina in front and the crowd chanted his name, a far cry from the vicious criticism earlier in his career.

“He has huge potential that I think still hasn’t been fully expressed. It wasn’t easy for him to overcome the general scepticism, as the slightest error would cause huge problems. He’s very reactive and an excellent goalkeeper. I’m happy he was able to enjoy this night.

“We kept a clean sheet, contained Udinese’s great talents and in my view we have already made that step up in quality. We’ve improved a lot over the course of the season.

“Against Udinese you must always be wary of counter-attacks, as they are very good at that. Pereyra, Di Natale and Muriel are all very fast on the ball, so I was afraid of that and it’s why we went a little deeper than usual.

“Ironically Cuadrado’s goal was similar to the kind Udinese have scored against us in the past.”

Fiorentina are challenging for a top three finish in Serie A, are in the Europa League knockouts and have reached the Coppa Italia Final.

“Perhaps reaching the Final was our primary objective at the start of the campaign. The squad, staff, club and fans deserve this opportunity and it also gives us the guarantee of at least being in the Europa League.”

The Viola will face either Roma or Napoli in the Coppa Italia Final at the Stadio Olimpico on May 3.

“I don’t know! They’re both very strong teams, so it doesn’t matter.”

Montella has been linked with a possible move to the Premier League and joked he’s not ready.

“I am studying English, as I know I must improve it. I’m still behind though, so it will take me a while...”

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