Beppe Iachini has claimed that Fiorentina are only at “the beginning of our journey” before he praised his old friend Stefano Pioli’s work at Milan.
The Viola host Milan on Saturday and are looking to build on their thumping 5-1 win over Sampdoria last weekend, but Iachini has stressed that his team are in the middle of a “long process” to reach their ultimate objectives.
“We are at the beginning of our journey, we have only been together for a month and a half,” he said at a press conference. “Sometimes things are achieved immediately, other times it will take time, especially on the mechanics in the possession phase.
“We want to create a bigger personality, the process will be a long one, but the boys are working well.
“Only by working every day you get the opportunity to recognise certain mechanisms. We are raising our level. When I arrived, we spoke badly of the attacking play, but now we can see some results. Many players have scored.”
The 55-year-old went on to praise Stefano Pioli’s work at San Siro and has warned his team to watch out for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andre Rebic on Saturday.
“They’re a strong team,” he said. “Today, they are even stronger because of Pioli’s tactics and mentality. They have been very organised since January and there are two players who have made a huge difference.
“Ibrahimovic is a phenomenon, he also has eyes in the back of his head. We will have to play a very organised game. And then you have Rebic… whatever he touches becomes gold.
“Pioli has re-organised his team, I don’t look to the past [the Viola’s poor record against Milan] and we don’t have to think about this. We want to score goals and put our opponent in difficulty.”
Patrick Cutrone could get a chance to prove his former team wrong after returning to Italy from an unsuccessful spell at Wolverhampton in the Premier League, but Iachini can’t guarantee that he will get the nod ahead of Dusan Vlahovic.
“Patrick is always important,” he said. “We are working with the whole team. We have two more training sessions and then we will decide who will play.
“I am getting some good answers in terms of spirit and application. I’m calm, I know what I have to do, and I have the opportunity to choose between two young players.
“They are also becoming friends, in the Coppa Italia they played together. We must be ready to interpret the game and its phases. We want to claim the points.”
Vlahovic scored a brace against Sampdoria last weekend and could be favoured also this weekend, but the coach insists that he still needs to develop.
“He is working very well, he needs to fly low,” Iachini told the reporters. “He can still improve but will only grow by working with humility.
“We talked a lot this week, he must try to find the target more often. He could have handed us the 2-1 against Inter in the Coppa Italia, but it wasn’t to be. He has a lot of potential and with his character and desire, he will grow.
“He is working on his individual tactics to make a stronger impact.”
Iachini looks forward to greeting an old friend in Pioli and added that they have a great friendship.
“We were teammates for seven years, we have grown up together professionally and we have a great friendship,” he said a press conference. “I will be pleased to see him again. We have written some beautiful pages together, playing in the UEFA Cup with both Verona and Fiorentina.”
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