Thursday February 18 2021
Prandelli: 'Viola are obliged to perform'

Cesare Prandelli said Fiorentina 'can't use' Aleksandr Kokorin against Spezia on Friday and stressed the Viola are 'obliged to put down a great performance'.

The Russian centre-forward arrived from Spartak Moscow in January but has only appeared once off the bench so far.

And Prandelli confirmed he will still not be in the starting line-up when Spezia arrive at the Artemio Franchi tomorrow.

“When he arrived, we started with a specific preparation,” Prandelli said at a press conference. “I put him on the pitch for a few minutes against Inter to understand.

“He still isn’t in great shape and in that match he had a small problem that made him uncomfortable.

“Against Sampdoria I brought him on the bench to integrate him with the group and understand the football and the characteristics of his teammates.

“Tomorrow, he will be on the bench, but I don’t think I can use him. We are working to have him 100 per cent.”

Prandelli added that Franck Ribery continues to work hard to contribute for the Viola.

“He is trying to recover,” Prandelli said. “He has his own protocol.

“The important thing is the head, which is not negative. He’s working to recover 100 per cent.”

Fiorentina arrive from back-to-back defeats to Inter and Sampdoria and Prandelli said his men are ‘obliged’ to put down ‘a great performance’.

“Anger and awareness must push us to give all on the pitch and show who we are,” he said. “The team have shown the spirit and the idea of the game.

“We will put down a great performance, because we are obliged to do so against a team that plays the best Italian football.

“There are some concerns but we know that every game has its own story. Compliments to [Spezia coach Vincenzo] Italiano, but we have to play to claim three points."