Thursday April 20 2017
Antognoni: 'Sousa not as expected'

Fiorentina director Giancarlo Antognoni confirmed Paulo Sousa will not be their Coach next season. “He started well, but didn’t end the way we expected.”

The option to extend his contract expired, as neither party seemed particularly inclined towards activating it.

Antognoni spoke to Italia 7 television tonight and was asked how Sousa’s departure would be broached.

“He’ll be calm. Sousa is criticised for certain things, but if we go back and remember the first phase of last season, it was wonderful.

“Then there were some problems and he got a little too relaxed, but that can happen. He is a good, modern Coach.

“Sousa started well, but didn’t end the way we expected. I saw the squad look particularly determined over the last few days and I think on Saturday they can give the fans satisfaction.”

The Viola host Inter at the Stadio Franchi on Saturday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“Fiorentina are a good team with excellent players. Perhaps this side didn’t do as well as we expected. It remains a good selection of players, even if perhaps it was better last season than this.

“There are players who made impressive debuts, like Federico Chiesa, and can give guarantees for the future. This is also thanks to Sousa, who chose Chiesa from the Primavera youth team to start the opening round against Juventus.”

Antognoni was asked who will be the next Coach of Fiorentina, as rumours include Stefano Pioli, Eusebio Di Francesco and Claudio Ranieri.

“Italian Coaches are the best. That’s not to diminish the others, but you just have to see how well they do abroad. Di Francesco and Pioli are two very good tacticians, I know them both. Pioli’s CV speaks for him, Di Francesco is doing well at Sassuolo.”

What are the chances of Federico Bernardeschi staying at Fiorentina?

“He has a two-year contract, we’ll see what happens. I think he wants to stay in Florence, at least that’s what I read in the papers. I think it’d be good for him to remain.

“Our intention is to make the team more Italian, just look at the January buys for Riccardo Saponara and Marco Sportiello.

“The primary objective for next season is Europe, hopefully even the Champions League, even if that is difficult. We’ll try to sign good players.”

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