Saturday May 25 2019
Montella: 'Destiny in Fiorentina's hands'

Vincenzo Montella warned they must avoid relegation against Genoa to “defend the city of Florence and not just Fiorentina. Our destiny is in our hands.”

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.30 UK time (18.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“We’ve worked on our mentality, our confidence, examining what happened over the last seven games,” said Montella in his Press conference.

“Destiny has put us in this situation, but tomorrow we must have even more belief in ourselves. We’re playing for a whole season, we must defend the city of Florence and not just Fiorentina.

“We have all been put to the test in a visceral, almost violent and entirely unexpected fashion, but if we are intelligent, then we can make this a moment of growth and future unity.

“Now we need courage without playing the victim, aware it depends only on us. We mustn’t be afraid, because the destiny of Fiorentina is only in our hands.

“Since I arrived here, people have just talked about the season being already over and asking me to play the youth team instead… I fell for that trap too. I talked about playing for pride and honour.

“Analysing the games, the team did put in the effort, it’s just that when you waste five or six scoring opportunities and then concede at the first attempt, it shakes you up. I hope we can all wake up from this bad dream.”

This morning, The New York Times newspaper reported that American billionaire Rocco Commisso has agreed a takeover of Fiorentina for $150m (circa €135m).

“That’s all we needed…” sighed Montella at the latest distraction. “Commisso followed me here too…”

Commisso had been in advanced negotiations to purchase Milan from Yonghong Li last year, when Montella was still at the helm.

“Rumours are just that. I am accustomed to working with foreign investors, as I started at Roma with the Sensi family and then they sold to the Americans.

“Anyway, none of that matters. What counts is the passion of the Della Valle brothers, proved yesterday by Andrea Della Valle, who is really suffering with this situation. Destiny wanted us to fight it out for safety in the final round.”

Fiorentina only risk relegation if they lose to Genoa by two clear goals or more and Empoli beat Inter.

“The biggest mistake we could make would be to sit back and wait for Genoa. We must get out there intending to win, and if that doesn’t work, then we must try not to lose.

“Genoa change their approach often during a game, with Goran Pandev between the lines, so we must be on our toes to spot when they’ll switch. They are very dangerous on the counter-attack.”

Montella was asked if he regrets his decision to take over at Fiorentina, a club he had already worked with.

“I think I made the right choice. This is our job, there are ups and downs, but I am even more fired up, because I love a challenge.”

However, he won’t be on the bench tomorrow, because he sits out a ban for punching an advertising board in fury after the Parma game, which unbeknownst to him had a steward behind it.

“I apologise to the person I accidentally struck, I really didn’t see him and just wanted to hit the board. It’s right that I pay for that and it’s just a pity it has to be at this crucial moment.”