Saturday February 17 2018
Pioli: 'Fiorentina must climb table'

Stefano Pioli believes Fiorentina have a point to prove and pride to play for against Atalanta. “We won’t finish in the bottom half of the table.”

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“We had some unpleasant setbacks, but the team spirit has always been intact,” insisted the Coach in his Press conference.

“We are Fiorentina and regardless of who we face, the approach must always be the same, even when we’re not taking on Juventus. We have no intention of finishing the Serie A season in the bottom half of the table.

“It was always going to be a tough campaign, we knew that as we started basically from scratch with a totally transformed team. I am sure we’re doing good work, but the results aren’t backing that up yet.

“I thought we played well against Juve and were unlucky not to pick up points. We have to improve in that sense. Marco Sportiello will play in goal. He made an error with Juve, but every player does and you can’t judge him on that. He has the chance to prove he can do much better.”

Atalanta have taken over the role that Fiorentina had in previous years, challenging for the top six and competing in the Europa League.

“They are a strong side who planned very well. They have a clear technical project and, along with us, play the most intense football. They’re tough to beat, but we can fight it out with Atalanta, as we proved earlier this season.

“It is important to be wary on set plays. Our position in the table does not fit our history, so we have to improve that.”

Vincent Laurini is out injured, with Riccardo Saponara not 100 per cent fit.

Fiorentina squad for Atalanta: Astori, Badelj, Benassi, Biraghi, Cerofolini, Chiesa, Cristoforo, Dabo, Dias, Dragowski, Eysseric, Falcinelli, Gaspar, Lo Faso, Milenkovic, Olivera, Pezzella, Saponara, Simeone, Sportiello, Thereau, Veretout, Hugo, Zekhnini

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