Empoli assistant manager Paolo Cozzi maintains they ‘achieved our objective’ in a 3-2 Coppa Italia defeat to Napoli. ‘We didn’t lose our identity.’
The Serie B side were forced to leave three players and coach Alessio Dionisi at the team hotel because they were in close contact with someone who had COVID-19, even though they repeatedly tested negative.
Nonetheless, they still pushed Napoli all the way with a 3-2 result at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
“The objective of this game was to face up to some of the best players in Serie A and give our youngsters valuable experience,” assistant manager Cozzi told RAI Sport.
“We didn’t lose our identity, we played like ourselves here, so we achieved our objective. The result is negative, but the performance is positive.
“Over the years, Empoli have consolidated their status with an organised club that is focused on the youth academy and training infrastructure.
“The club invested and has grown with this mentality. Our aim is to fight at the top of the Serie B table and we have the youngest squad in the division. Of course, the difficult part comes next, as when you are the Serie B leaders, the opponents take a different approach.”