Friday February 7 2020
Longo: 'Special few days'

New Torino boss Moreno Longo says the last few days have been “special,” and he’s seen a “positive” attitude from the players.

Torino welcome Sampdoria to the Stadio Olimpico di Torino after what has been a tumultuous week.

Walter Mazzarri was sacked, with Longo being drafted in to steady the Granata ship.

Longo says it’s been a memorable few days.

“The last few days have been special for me, as well as for the players,” said Longo in his press conference.

“There has been enthusiasm from the players, but we must not lose sight of understanding that tomorrow we will take to the pitch and we must think about offering a performance that is up to our standard.

Longo says he has seen a positive attitude from the Toro players, despite conceding 11 goals in two games.

“It’s hard to tell in only four days, but I have seen a positive attitude from the players. I saw in the eyes of the lads the desire to reverse the negative trend.

“However words mean nothing, the smiles mean well, but to keep them, we have to perform.”

Longo states that it will take a little time for him to shape the squad in his style.

“I cannot give a precise answer, but I can say that I hope to do so as quickly as possible.

“I want to convey a mentality, but from the responses I have seen during the week the players have shown me that they can be stimulated.

“We are already in the second half of the season, it’s better not to put too many concepts into the players’ heads for now.”

Torino usually lined out in a 3-5-2 under Mazzarri, and Longo states switching to a back four may be a possibility in the future.

“It’s a team built with a three-man defence, to move to four at the back would take time.

“We will see today and tomorrow how the rest of the team will take shape. Lorenzo De Silvestri and Ola Aina are the only wing-backs available. Cristian Ansaldi is called up but has played little in the last month.”

Sampdoria put in a spirited display against Napoli in their last outing, and Longo expects a difficult game.

“I expect to face a compact side, who can be effective, but I told the lads: we have to give the maximum attention. It takes courage and determination.

“I expect balance and also that our mentality comes out during the game.”

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