Ivan Juric admits “the possibility of dismissal was in the air” before Genoa’s 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria. “I accept whatever comes next.”
The Grifone were already in crisis before this defeat to their local rivals, sitting in the bottom three with only six points, but are now 17 points behind Samp, having played an extra game.
It was reported Juric would be axed if he failed to win the Derby della Lanterna.
“The situation was in the air, I haven’t received any call, but I do want to say the lads put in a performance of great heart, determination and commitment.
“I thank them for their attitude, we played the way we wanted to, especially in the second half, and created so many scoring opportunities.
“Sampdoria have a little more confidence, as is inevitable, but we conceded the first goal in just ridiculous circumstances. We hit the crossbar and missed two great chances with Gianluca Lapadula, so the team fought hard and did create its chances.
“We had a lot more than Samp physically in the last 30 minutes. Goran Pandev always shakes things up, although he can’t always do the whole 90 minutes, but we had the chances throughout.
“We allowed Samp very little and knew we could struggle with their passing, but they never really hurt us that way. I still maintain the opening goal was the kind we should not be conceding in a derby – or in Serie A, for that matter.
“I don’t know what will happen now, as the possibility of dismissal was in the air, but the team is growing and I cannot complain about their attitude. Sometimes football is ruthless, it can turn against you, but this team has quality and is full of great guys. I accept whatever comes next.
“I realise the results are not good, but I will not criticise my lads for their performances, their attitude or even their training sessions.
“Will Genoa stay in Serie A? Certainly! With Juric on the bench? I don’t know, you’d have to ask the club.”
Darko Lazovic was introduced as a substitute then replaced half-an-hour later by Pietro Pellegri.
“I wanted to introduce another striker, but let’s not beat around the bush here, he made a lot of mistakes. He wasted a lot of crosses when it was three against two in the box and misplaced passes.”