Saturday January 4 2020
Nicola: 'Honoured to be Genoa coach'

Davide Nicola is “honoured to be the coach” of Genoa, but warns they must start from scratch against Sassuolo. “Today a mini-season begins.”

He is the third coach of the campaign to sit on the Marassi bench, as Aurelio Andreazzoli lasted until October 22 and Thiago Motta was fired over the Christmas break.

“This is my fifth day on the job,” said Nicola in his presentation press conference. “You cannot imagine how honoured I feel to be the coach of this club.

“My first impressions are positive, but I also arrive already loving this club and these fans thanks to my time here as a player. It’s a delicate moment and the atmosphere is certainly different to what it was, but the passion remains the same.”

Genoa are currently bottom of the Serie A table and Nicola was brought in due to his past success helping Crotone escape relegation.

“They are two different situations, as Crotone were inexperienced and still getting to grips with the climb up to Serie A. What made the difference there was mentality. Genoa have to start from scratch and today begin a mini-season.

“There are quality players here, but the statistics don’t lie. I think in recent months the team has been asked to adapt to several different approaches, but lacks balance. They only scored 17 goals, but so did Milan and they have an extra 10 points, because Genoa also conceded 35.

“Clearly, we’re not going to be perfect after just five days of work, but have to build on our strengths and get everyone on the same page. There are priorities and right now the emotional aspect, finding that courage, humility and determination, is going to be crucial.”

Nicola’s debut will be against Sassuolo on Sunday at 17.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“The Neroverdi create and allow the opposition to get chances too, so we must work out the right moments to strike. They have caused a lot of problems with their passing game for the most prestigious teams.”

Mattia Perin arrived on loan from Juventus, so will he become Genoa’s first choice goalkeeper ahead of Ionut Radu?

“We have two great goalkeepers, but I don’t tend to beat around the bush,” concluded Nicola.

“I’ll make my decision tomorrow, I’ll tell the players, and it will be definitive.”

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