Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella has insisted that he did not criticise Federico Chiesa when he said the winger was out of shape physically and mentally.
Chiesa has been absent from training this week and speculation is rife that the winger is not entirely happy with the situation at Fiorentina, with his father and ex-Italy striker Enrico meeting the club.
Montella confirmed the 22-year-old was likely to miss the match against Lecce tomorrow as he is still recovering from a thigh injury but sought to calm down the noise surrounding his talisman.
“Chiesa didn’t train with the team,” he said at a press conference. “We will assess him after 5-6 days without training.
“When you come from a defeat, there are a lot of critical voices. When a player, not just Chiesa, is recovering from an injury, he must get well both mentally and physically.
“Some may play with an injection, others maybe not. When you’re not in your right mind, it may take a while to come back.
“It was a meeting planned with his father and agent, and I hope he will recover. He’s very valuable for us and for Italian football.”
The Viola are looking to get back on track after three consecutive matches without a win and back-to-back losses in Serie A.
“The team want to respond after two very poor performances. This is our first really difficult period.
“In these periods you see the coach, the club and the quality of the players.
“We need to respond. I’m ready, this is the decisive moment to turn our season around.
“We said from the beginning that we are a young and new team, we would encounter ups and downs.
“We peaked for a month-and-a-half and now we are in a period where we are struggling.”
Montella’s side have been accused of lacking fitness, but he rubbished suggestions they lost to Verona because they ran less than their opponents.
“The relegated teams are the ones who run the most. If you have the ball, you run less. In terms of kilometres.
“Then you have the metabolic power and we are on par with the others. Last Sunday we ran less than Verona, but we didn’t lose because of this.
“I have to always reiterate that, I get tired of doing so. The only absolute truth is that when you lose, you’ve made a mistake and I am the loser over these two weeks.”
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