Sinisa Mihajlovic warns his Torino side not to underestimate Spal - “if we don’t play at our best, we could be beaten”.
The Granata are looking to qualify for the Europa League this season, and face what looks to be a winnable game against the relegation strugglers.
“Every match in Serie A is difficult,” Mihajlovic cautioned in his pre-match Press conference.
“Spal are definitely a team to be respected, they won two leagues in a row and now they have experienced Serie A players: Felipe, [Bartosz] Salamon, [Pasquale] Schiattarella, [Federico] Viviani, [Alberto] Grassi. Up-front [Mirko] Antenucci, [Marco] Borriello, [Alberto] Paloschi…
“They play well at home, they’re aggressive and they’ve only lost three games, two of which were Fiorentina and Napoli. If we don’t play at our best we can be beaten.
“We’ve prepared well for the game, even if we haven’t had much time. We need to use our own aggression, to allow our superior technical quality to come out.
“The latter alone isn’t enough, they’re good on the second balls so it will be a battle, a war.
“We said to the lads during the week that we’ve come out of a difficult cycle of games, where we drew twice in Milan, won twice in Rome and drew with Atalanta.
“But we can’t start getting big-headed now, we need to face the next games with the same concentration and respect we faced the strongest teams with.
“Game after game we’ve improved our play, our attitude and our defensive solidity, but we have to keep doing that and stay focused.
“If we do, we can probably bring home the result.”
Mihajlovic was then asked if European qualification hinges on the next few games.
“We play for it in every match. Why are you asking me about the next five games? Spal is a very important game, a very difficult one.
“Only ask me about this game. The problem is mentality, attitude, desire. If we face Spal with the same attitude we displayed against Roma we’ll probably win.
“But if we go there thinking it’ll be a walk in the park, we’ll lose. If you don’t give your all in Serie A you can lose to anyone.
“It's an important game, we want to give a Merry Christmas to ourselves and our fans. Only later will we talk about the next matches.”