Wednesday August 7 2019
Mazzarri: 'Don't mention Wolves!'

Walter Mazzarri refused to mention Wolves, as he wants Torino to focus entirely on Europa League opponents Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

The first leg kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on Thursday at 20.00 UK time.

If Toro go through, they are expected to face Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final play-off, but Mazzarri wouldn’t even say their name in the Press conference.

“I will not talk about them and am quite annoyed, because I think the draw should be done when teams have already qualified, not a whole round early. I am focused only on Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

“They have already proved themselves to be a strong team, tough and experienced. Having said that, we’ve been playing well too and have a good chance of progressing to the next phase.

“It’s important that we are back on our home turf, because the pitch is in perfect condition and the fans can always give us a big hand with their presence.”

The last home game against Debrecen was played in Alessandria because the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino was already booked for a concert.

“We’ve got to keep improving our mentality, look at what we got wrong and work to be stronger. For example, we beat Debrecen 4-1, but at the start of the second half we thought it was easy and made mistakes, running too many risks. It must be clear that in Europe you concentrate for 95 minutes.

“It would’ve helped if we had players in the squad with more European experience, but we’ll gain it as we go along. It’s crucial to respect our opponents, as everyone knows tactics now. It mustn’t enter our minds that this could be an easy game.

“We always try to take the initiative, but that doesn’t mean leaving yourself open to the counter-attack.”

Daniele Baselli is in the squad after an injury, but Iago Falque and Ola Aina are still unavailable, with Tomas Rincon perhaps not quite ready for the full match.

“I told Simone Zaza that he struggles to play in a 3-4-3, but also that if he keeps working that hard and is going that strong, then it’s difficult to leave him out. He has to continue like this, every game. If he drops off, he risks ending up on the bench.”

Torino squad: Gemello, Sirigu, Rosati; Ansaldi, Bonifazi, Bremer, De Silvestri, Gilli, Izzo, Nkoulou, Singo; Baselli, Berenguer, Lukic, Meite, Rincon; Belotti, Millico, Rauti, Zaza

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