Saturday June 20 2020
Zenga: 'Cagliari start unacceptable'

Walter Zenga was very unhappy with his Cagliari debut, as they lost 2-1 to 10-man Verona. ‘The first 20 minutes were unacceptable.’

He had to wait three months to make his debut on the Sardinian bench, replacing sacked Rolando Maran, as this rescheduled Week 25 fixture was postponed from February.

It was a 2-1 defeat at the Bentegodi, despite the fact Hellas Verona were down to 10 men for the entire second half.

“We started badly and immediately allowed a shot on goal in the first minute,” confessed Zenga on DAZN.

“We didn’t get a grip on the game and our first 20 minutes were unacceptable. We cannot concede two avoidable goals, because a team can easily drown after a start like that.

“The positive is that we managed to stay in the running, in part because of Fabio Borini’s red card, but we weren’t sharp enough and weren’t running with any real organisation.

“We changed system in the second half and tried to make adjustments, but were still too static. When you have the extra man, it’s important to increase the bodies in midfield and take control there.

“As luck would have it, just as we were getting ready to substitute Luca Cigarini, he got sent off. He was already on a yellow, we were worried he’d get caught late on the counter and that’s precisely what happened.

“Having said all that, I am not someone who looks for alibis, but this team was missing Joao Pedro and Radja Nainggolan. The positive is that the team refused to accept defeat and tried to fight back, but we needed to be a little more determined in some situations and correct the errors I saw tonight.

“What we cannot afford to do is to start so passively.”