Sunday January 5 2020
Nicola: 'Genoa back to Plan A'

Davide Nicola described how he adjusted Genoa on his debut for a 2-1 win over Sassuolo, referring back to Aurelio Andreazzoli more than Thiago Motta.

This was the Grifone’s first victory since October 26, which was the debut of their last coach, Thiago Motta.

Nicola represents the third different tactician to sit on the Genoa bench this season, as Andreazzoli was fired on October 22.

“When I arrived, the statistics showed there were areas to be improved, such as conceding 35 goals,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We worked on both the possibility of increasing vertical passes going forward and asking the lads to remain balanced when attacking and defending.

“Sassuolo have a precise identity and play very well, so it’s never easy to face them, as they prefer to keep possession on the wings.

“We struggled a little in the first half with the midfielders covering their full-backs, but we made corrections after the break and we saw the difference.

“I am not an alchemist. I just believe this team earned an important victory and that can increase the confidence in working on these concepts.

“We tried to build out from the back, but we started very tense. It’s inevitable, because the two coaches who preceded me had very different approaches, as Aurelio – a coach I admire a great deal – wanted them to move the ball vertically at pace, whereas Thiago Motta wanted more close passing. I believe in football it’s important to get the ball forward as quickly as possible.

“I like that today we created four scoring opportunities using movements through central channels that we had worked on in training, which suggests we’ve made some progress.

“We couldn’t count on Andrea Pinamonti, who got injured in training this morning, so Goran Pandev did a great job.”

Nicola isn’t the only new face in January, as Mattia Perin, Valon Behrami and Mattia Destro have already come in.

“I’ve been coaching this squad for only five days, so it’ll take a little more time to get to know them. We’ll evaluate along with the club and see if there are any adjustments to be made in the transfer window.”

Sassuolo were furious at both Genoa goals, arguing the penalty was an Antonio Sanabria dive and Domenico Criscito fouled Domenico Berardi in the build-up to Pandev’s winner.

“I’ve shown over the years that I never comment on refereeing incidents. The VAR was there and did not suggest an on-field review.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: