Saturday January 23 2021
Stroppa praises 'world class' Messias

Giovanni Stroppa wanted Crotone to be more ‘courageous’ from the start against Fiorentina and hails ‘world class’ Junior Messias.

The Squali lost 2-1 at the Stadio Franchi to Giacomo Bonaventura and Dusan Vlahovic goals, getting one back after the break with Nwankwo Simy.

“In terms of character, the second half was certainly better. We should’ve started stronger and been more aggressive, but were sluggish on the goals,” the coach told DAZN.

“It was an extraordinary Bonaventura volley, but on the second we shouldn’t have allowed Castrovilli to get that ball away.

“I am pleased with the reaction and the desire to get back into it afterwards, but we must believe in ourselves more from the start.”

Junior Messias hobbled off with a suspected sprained ankle, so he would be a huge loss for Crotone.

“Messias is world class and proving his talent in Serie A, with quality that is superior to most out there, not just in the Crotone squad. We will evaluate him over the next few days and hope it’s not too serious.”

The Brazilian has had a quite extraordinary career path, as up until a few years ago he was playing in the semi-pro leagues and still delivering washing machines to make money.

“I believe he is world class. I think he hasn’t been as successful as he could’ve because he is very shy, introverted and reserved. He has developed now, found the desire to make his mark in Serie A and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got an international call-up.

“He has immense quality and deserves every success.”

Simy was on target, but Stroppa wants more support from the midfielders.

“We’ve been without Ahmad Benali for most of the season, so it was good to see him return today. We do ask more from our midfielders in general and hope they can improve as the season goes on.

“When you pass the ball around well and reach the final third, you then need more courage individually to push up and attack with more men.”