Vincenzo Montella is keeping Fiorentina focused on Chievo between Euro derbies with Juventus. “Mario Gomez is improving.”
The Serie A encounter kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
It comes just days after a 1-1 Europa League draw in Turin and ahead of next Thursday’s second leg in that Round of 16.
“My job is to put out players with the right motivation,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“Today was our first real training session after the Europa League. We haven’t picked up many points recently in Serie A, so it’s complicated tomorrow, but also a game that we must win.
“We’re coming into it between two very important matches, while Chievo were able to train all week thinking only of how to beat Fiorentina.
“Chievo are very well-organised, especially at the back, and are an old-fashioned Italian team who play only for the result. Their Coach Eugenio Corini is smart and tactically astute, as shown when they took points off Napoli and Inter.”
Gomez scored in the 1-1 draw at the Juventus Stadium, his first goal since a five-month lay-off for knee surgery.
“Aside from the goal, he is improving. We already knew how strong he was and perhaps with the goal his confidence can also grow.
“I left out Juan Cuadrado in Turin as a tactical choice, that is all. I wanted to put him on in the second half, but injuries forced me into two substitutions.
“I’d say Thursday showed an improvement in terms of mentality. This team believes in what it does and has to play this way to give its best, even against the strongest opponents. That makes me proud.
“I hope we can get something more than a draw in the second leg. It wasn’t easy in Turin, as they knock three goals past everyone there, but in Serie A we reacted strongly in the second half and did the same on Thursday too.
“You risk collapsing in those situations, but instead we reacted. It’s a start, a promising one, and you can see the growth of a team through these moments.
“On Thursday I expect to see the Stadio Franchi packed out. I realise with the economic crisis it’s not easy for fans to come to the stadium twice a week, but we’ve got to take the game to Juventus. We can’t play for a 0-0.
“In a way perhaps there is too much enthusiasm from the supporters, as we haven’t achieved anything yet. It’s all still in the balance.”
Joaquin missed Thursday’s clash due to an injury and he is still not in full training, while Mati Fernandez is out for a while with a sprained ankle.
There was positive news from America, where Giuseppe Rossi was given the all-clear to move on to the next stage of the recovery process, as his knee is healing ahead of schedule.
“We are happy that things are progressing well for him. We await him in Florence soon and it’ll be good to have him around every day, but it would be counter-productive to rush his recovery. I do hope to have him at my disposal for the final weeks of the season.”
Betting on Serie A? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more