Thursday October 31 2019
De Zerbi: 'I want to die playing'

Sassuolo are “set up to play” according to Roberto De Zerbi, as they suffered another defeat at home to Fiorentina.

Fiorentina won 2-1 at the Mapei Stadium and the struggle in the bottom half continues for De Zerbi’s men. The 40-year-old still insists the need to be true to the path they have chosen to go down.

“We all want results, but we have to choose what road to go down. I have already chosen mine,” said De Zerbi after the 2-1 loss to Viola.

“We all need to do that. We are set up to always play the ball and we have players of a high quality, even if we are missing three elements in the defensive line.

“Those who played aren’t inferior, they are all players who know how to play and might have been halted by their own attitude today.

"The defensive phase of the game and with our passing, we showed that we forgot what we are all about; to always play the ball. After going down 1-2, we started to play again.”

Sassuolo were 1-0 up when De Zerbi made a change in the midfield, pulling off Filip Duricic to add a more physical player in Pedro Obiang.

“I brought on Obiang to add more centimetres in the middle. The problem is not the system, but the collective attitude. [The goalkeeper Andrea] Consigli was booting the ball forward, the players in the middle weren’t available and we played as if the shortest way to get a result would be to kick the ball forward.”

Sassuolo now need to focus on a tough away game against newly promoted Lecce this weekend, and the coach wants to see his players respond.

“I told my staff that we might have a thousand excuses, but I want to die playing. If we concede a goal, it’s my fault. If we keep the ball too much, it’s my fault.

"They need to accept that they are part of this Sassuolo, I won’t trade anything. At Verona I understood the situation, but when you can play, you always must play. Even at the cost of losing, you always must play.”

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