Saturday September 14 2019
Montella: 'Ribery champion mentality'

Vincenzo Montella hails Franck Ribery and Gaetano Castrovilli after a 0-0 draw with Juventus, but rues the lack of a winning Fiorentina goal. “We’re on the right track.”

The Viola had better possession, passing, shots and even 10 corners to zero, but it still ended 0-0.

“I am proud, because the team had two and a half games at a great level so far this season against some very tough opposition, so that means we can fight it out with anyone,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Unfortunately, when we have 10-15 shots on goal and don’t score, that is disappointing. I think Florence will be proud of us today, a win would’ve been the icing on the cake, but we are on the right track.

“I drew a line under everything after the transfer window closed. I ask the fans to give us time to work together, get to know each other and become a unit, but we are getting there.

“Our positioning was good, but also our average age was higher today than some of the earlier matches, so that extra experience helps you take the right approach.”

Montella moved to 3-5-2 for this match with Franck Ribery and Federico Chiesa in attack, but above all a high press all over the pitch.

“We worked since the start of the week with Boateng, Ribery, Castrovilli, Dalbert, Lirola and Pulgar, so we got to work with them during the break for international duty. It was risky to use this defence, as they only had one and a bit training sessions together, but I felt it was important.

“We created problems for Juventus and there is no greater victory for a Coach than seeing the players follow his guidance.”

Ribery played 68 minutes in his first Serie A start and earned a huge roar from the crowd when sprinting back in the second half for a crucial tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I saw in the friendly against Perugia that he could play an hour, he wanted even more. He has the mentality of a champion and that means he could not accept a misplaced pass to put his team in danger, so even when exhausted, he ran back and fixed it.”

Gaetano Castrovilli has also won over the fans with the 22-year-old’s performances.

“I saw after a couple of training sessions in pre-season that we had to take him off the market. He dribbles remarkably well and I don’t see any midfielder with a better change of pace in Serie A right now. Eventually, he’ll score some goals too.”

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