Sunday November 10 2019
Maran: 'Cagliari challenge ourselves'

Rolando Maran told Cagliari to “challenge ourselves, nobody else” after thrashing Fiorentina 5-2 to temporarily go into third place.

The Sardinians are unbeaten in 10 and scored five goals with five different players at the Sardegna Arena today, having beaten Atalanta 2-0 last week.

“Even the rosiest expectations didn’t see us this high up the standings. There is a whole city and island pushing us on, so we just have to continue like this and make it a challenge against ourselves, nobody else,” the coach told DAZN.

“These lads are all working in the best possible way and taking the enthusiasm as fuel rather than a reason to rest on their laurels. What we mustn’t do is what we saw towards the end, when we stopped playing and conceded two goals. Fiorentina are not simple opponents and they are tough, we made it look easy because we worked so hard.

“I believe we have margin for improvement in every area. For example, today we were too sluggish in controlling the game. You can’t always score five goals, so need to know how to keep the ball and not just stop playing.

“The team has learned important lessons, we must always be ferocious in every moment of every match. The motivation has to be raising the bar, doing better, because you can always do better, even 0.2 per cent more, as it adds up and makes the difference.

“We are enjoying this moment, but must not rest on our laurels or think we don’t need to work hard to earn these results.”

Radja Nainggolan was given a standing ovation when substituted, having contributed a long-range scorcher and a hat-trick of assists.

“I told Radja: ‘You scored another ugly goal, eh?’ He is capable of extraordinary things and you just have to stand back and applaud.”

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