Sunday March 10 2019
Pioli hints at Fiorentina exit

Stefano Pioli “expected it to be tough” after a 1-1 draw with Lazio, but hinted he might not be at Fiorentina next season.

Ciro Immobile’s scorcher flew into the far top corner, but the visitors had several other chances, including one that Pietro Terracciano – making his Viola debut for injured Alban Lafont – palmed on to the upright.

Federico Chiesa went off injured, forcing a reshuffle, but Luis Muriel equalised with a touch of class on the Kevin Mirallas assist.

“I don’t think Europe came or went tonight. We had too few points throughout the second half of the season, too few for the quality that we have,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“There are 11 games to go and the Coppa Italia semi-final. I expected this to be tough, as the team didn’t come out well from the week with three games. This is a side and a fanbase that gets exhilarated after positive results and depressed when there are setbacks.

“Some of our players were not 100 per cent fit and had to keep going. Lazio played the way they know how and caused us problems, but we got a deserved draw against a very strong team.

“I don’t talk to my players about systems and shapes, it’s about positions, using your strengths and finding the weaknesses in the opposition. I am not disappointed by this performance, the doors are still open and we just need to recharge the batteries.”

Chiesa was in floods of tears after he was forced off the field by an injury in the first half.

“He had an abdominal strain. Federico is a lad who puts such heart and passion into his work for this team. Everyone here gives heart and soul for the club and that is wonderful to see.”

Pioli was asked about his future at Fiorentina, as the 53-year-old’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

“I let my work do the talking for me. I only know one thing about the future, which is I told my wife that I want to keep coaching until I turn 65, so there are many years to go. I even told her that if I get the offer to lead a national team, I might go on even longer. So I’ll keep going, but I don’t know where it will be.

“I am enjoying my work too much, we’ve got a great bond with the lads and they treat me like I’m the best Coach in the world. We’re in no hurry to make decisions or announce them.”

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