Friday November 6 2020
Italiano: 'Long road for Spezia'

Spezia coach Vincenzo Italiano said the match against Benevento ‘will be important’ and confirmed he must cope without Paolo Bartolomei.

Italiano’s men have picked up five points in six games and arrive after a 4-1 defeat to the reigning champions Juventus, but the coach was encouraged to continue in the same way after the match against the Old Lady.

“Regarding last Sunday’s match, I think my team has been able to sell their skin dearly,” Italiano said at a press conference. “We clearly suffered.

“In the fist 20 minutes, Juventus put us in difficulty several times, but then we raiser our heads showing that we know how to worry even the Italian champions.

“When I said we could have achieved more, it’s because I’m convinced the result could have been different with a little more attention and concentration.

“We have to think about growing, because the road is long, and my team have room for improvements.”

Italiano’s squad has been hit by injuries and he must cope without Bartolomei against Benevento.

“Injuries are part of the game, they come for various reasons and must be budgeted for,” he said. “Unfortunately, we must deal with COVID too, so the situation becomes even more complex.

“I’m not one who tends to look for excuses, luckily we have a large squad, we have established it by choice and therefore we have players at our disposal.

“Those who are going on the pitch so far have been able to respond well, the team are in good shape.

“Unfortunately, we lost Bartolomei due to a strong hit against Juventus. But we must be confident, be happy with what we are doing, knowing that all the games count a lot. The points have an impact in the end and sometimes we must think differently.

“We must be a bit more cunning, smart and play our best soon in this championship. Every week, players at the top level compete against each other.”

Spezia are familiar with Benevento, who they have played in Serie B in recent years, where the Streghe had already secured promotion with seven games in hand last term.

“On Saturday, we must stay focused,” Italiano added. “The opponents we are facing are strong, they’re doing well.

“but in Serie A it depends on us, because if you don’t have the right approach when you enter the pitch, any opponent will put us in difficulty.

“I just hope to repeat the performance, we have the quality and potential. It will be an important match."