Sunday July 26 2020
De Zerbi: 'VAR improved football'

Roberto De Zerbi wants Sassuolo to play with ‘more belief’ after their 2-0 defeat to Napoli but insists VAR has ‘improved football’, despite four disallowed goals.

VAR was instrumental at the San Paolo last night as it ultimately denied Sassuolo victory, but De Zerbi refused to be drawn into any controversy.

“Aside from the annoyance of seeing four goals disallowed, VAR has improved football,” he told DAZN.

“One of my assistants told me that we would’ve won without VAR. I got angry because it’s been there for two years and it applies to everyone: sometimes it gives and sometimes it takes from you.

“I can’t blame the lads for anything, we did what we could do. We’re a young team with lots of players injured. Those we had on the pitch had to play with a bit more belief.

“Napoli are strong, they play and press. Caputo’s goal was from a ball we recovered, just as they came to take the ball off us high up the pitch in the first half.

“I speak of belief not because we win or lose, but because maybe I love my lads too much.

“I’m objective, if I ask for something more then it’s because I’m convinced that they can give it to me.

“Sometimes we play with the handbrake on too much. If we go to Napoli, we can’t concede the first goal like we did. We backed off too easily.

“Belief also lies in making that final pass. It’s not just about sliding to catch the ball.”

The Neroverdi have always maintained that they will keep their best players this summer, but the coach hopes the majority of his squad will remain unchanged. 

“Now let’s finish the season. If there isn’t a big turnover of players here then it’ll be a pleasure to keep working with this team. Maybe it’ll keep our best players here.”

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