Saturday January 9 2021
D'Aversa: 'I came home for Parma'

Roberto D’Aversa has returned ‘home’ to the Parma bench and makes his ‘debut’ against Lazio. ‘We have to play with belief or not bother turning up.’

It kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

This is a return for D’Aversa, who had parted company with the Ducali in August due to a difference of opinion on how to proceed, but was recalled after Fabio Liverani’s dismissal.

“I want to salute Liverani, as the coach often has to pay the price when responsibility ought to be shared out more evenly,” said D’Aversa in his press conference.

“If someone thinks my arrival will resolve all the problems, then they are sorely mistaken. I am happy to come back home, because you know how hard we worked to get Parma back into Serie A over the years, and the three consecutive promotions were incredible.

“I feel the desire to protect what we achieved and I am fuelled by my love for this city, the passion of the fans and the importance of the club.”

Parma went bankrupt in 2015 and were rescued by a group of local investors, but this season the new owner is American Kyle Krause.

“We are fortunate that after an era has come to an end, we can resume with an ambitious President who impressed me with his enthusiasm,” continued D’Aversa.

“If we want to stay in Serie A, we have to press the reset button and work together. I returned home to achieve a fundamental objective.

“I will always be grateful to the club and the positives far outweigh the negatives from the end of last season.”

Gervinho and Yordan Osorio are back in the squad, but Juraj Kucka, Yann Karamoh, Vincent Laurini, Riccardo Gagliolo, Simone Iacoponi, Alberto Grassi and Hans Nicolussi Caviglia are out.

When asked who will be in his starting XI against Lazio, D’Aversa replied: “Ask the doctor! I’ll evaluate Gervinho to the last minute, he trained well today, but we cannot afford to lose more players.

“We’ve got to face Lazio with belief, because if we take them on aiming for a draw, we may as well not bother turning up.”

Parma squad for Lazio: Colombi, Rinaldi, Sepe; Bruno Alves, Balogh, Busi, Osorio, Pezzella, Ricci, Valenti; Brugman, Dezi, Camara, Cyprien, Hernani Jr, Kurtic, Sohm; Brunetta, Cornelius, Gervinho, Inglese, Mihaila, Sprocati