Tuesday February 23 2021
Semplici: 'Cagliari work is psychological'

Leonardo Semplici insists he won’t change many of Eusebio Di Francesco’s tactics at Cagliari, but ‘my job will be above all working on the mentality of the players.’

The former SPAL coach was drafted in on Monday after Di Francesco was fired, having failed to pick up a single Serie A victory since November 7.

“I found a team that is struggling in terms of morale after so many games without results, which saw their fortunes turn down rather than up,” said the coach in his press conference.

“I think my job here will above all be working on the mentality of the players, to bring back the right determination we need for what will be a huge achievement.

“These lads have qualities that so far they have been unable to express. I accepted this challenge to represent Cagliari, its history, and I saw in this squad the chance to achieve our targets. I hope to bring enthusiasm and the desire to turn this moment around.

“I think that I can free these lads of some of their psychological problems. It’s not about the system or tactical aspects now, it’s about character.”

While Di Francesco was brought in to aim for Europe, Cagliari needed someone like Semplici more adept at relegation scraps.

“I watched some of the Cagliari games and saw a team playing with the handbrake on. It’s not Di Francesco’s fault, as he is a great coach who I admire, but these players need a different psychological approach.

“The system will remain more or less the same as it has been in recent weeks. I don’t think the positioning of a single player can change that much in this situation.”