Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi warned he will “be very angry indeed if we underestimate Perugia” in the Coppa Italia after holding Juventus.
The Neroverdi fought back for a 2-2 draw in Turin on Sunday and are brimming with confidence going into tomorrow afternoon’s Coppa Italia encounter at the Mapei Stadium.
“I wouldn’t expect a hangover from the Juventus game. If we’d won by four or five goals, then maybe, but this was just a draw,” said De Zerbi in his press conference.
“I told the team, we’ve been on the right path for four or five games now, the Juve result was just another sign of that growing form. However, if we’re on that track and lose our way again, we’re in the wrong profession.
“We care a great deal about the Coppa Italia and reached the Round of 16 against Napoli last season. Perugia know how to play, have good players for Serie B level and we mustn’t think it’s going to be easy. I will be very angry indeed if we underestimate Perugia.
“I believe it’s important to see the fine line between being ambitious and presumptuous. You can go and fight it out with anyone, but also never forget who you are. We can only keep improving if we maintain that determined attitude.
“I have to rotate the squad to a degree, as there are many players who aren’t fully fit and I never want to risk anyone’s health. It’s also preparation for the next Serie A match against Cagliari, so whoever does well can break into the team.”
De Zerbi confirmed 18-year-old sensation Stefano Turati will not be in goal after his impressive debut against Juventus, as the gloves will go to fellow teen Alessandro Russo.
“Domenico Berardi is back in training, but hasn’t yet played a game between the ranks, so we won’t risk him. We’ll see who starts between Junior Hamed Traore and Filip Djuricic.”
De Zerbi and Sassuolo will be reunited with Perugia centre-forward Pietro Iemmello, who is currently the Capocannoniere of Serie B.
“We grew up together, basically. I chose him at Foggia and kept him there for two years. He is starting to bang the goals in now, but I continue to maintain he hasn’t expressed anywhere near his full potential.”
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