Tuesday February 11 2020
Mattioli: 'We needed change'

President Walter Mattioli has claimed that SPAL still believe in “our own salvation” after appointing Luigi Di Biagio as the new head coach in Ferrara.

The patron acted after a difficult 2019-20 season so far and Leonardo Semplici left the job with the club rooted at the bottom of Serie A and a seven-point gap up to safety.

In addition to admitting that “the time had come” for a “change”, the chief also believes that Di Biagio can turn things around at the Paolo Mazza.

“We strongly believe in our own salvation,” he said at press conference. “We have an excellent team and we want to save ourselves.”

He said that he will thank Leonardo Semplici for “the rest of my life” but admitted that the poor run of results encouraged him to make a change.

“We lost 16 games out of 23 and have conceded 40 goals whilst only scoring 17,” he said. “I will thank Semplici for the rest of my life, he has done a great job.

“But this year, we haven’t seen anything special. We have often seen games that have been played badly. Players entering the pitch without being aggressive. It was a team in need of a change.

“I don’t want to crucify anyone, but I don’t want to be the stupid President either.”

The President pointed towards the future and said that the decision was made with “the best interests” of the club in mind.

“The club is looking out for its own future,” he added. “For the good of the city and its fans. We have acted in the best interests of our own team.

“I feel sorry for Semplici, but the time had come to this.”

SPAL are up against a confident Lecce this weekend and Di Biagio doesn’t have much time to prepare his team for their first battle with him in the dugout.

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