Saturday April 17 2021
Semplici: 'People gave Cagliari up for dead'

Cagliari coach Leonardo Semplici said people ‘gave us up for dead,’ but he wants to see the same determination that allowed them to beat Parma 4-3 carried on for the rest of the season.

They were 3-2 down at the 90th minute, scoring in stoppages with Gaston Pereiro and Alberto Cerri to turn it around, sparking a fireworks display outside the Sardegna Arena.

“Fireworks are premature. We gave it our all, we gambled everything and we deserved it for the number of chances we created,” Semplici told DAZN.

“I am happy for these players, because they wanted the win, they kept fighting until they achieved it.”

Cagliari have certainly stepped up a gear since Semplici replaced Eusebio Di Francesco, but they remain in the bottom three.

“When I arrived, I didn’t know this side very well, but they were all very eager to turn things around. We haven’t resolved all our problems, as was entirely evident today, but we have to make this determination into our greatest strength.

“Despite being 3-2 down, we were absolutely determined not to lose the game and we made it happen. It was important above all not to lose today, and possibly to win it, so the lads gave absolutely everything tonight. There was nothing held back.

“This victory must give us more confidence, more self-belief and make sure we keep our heads up always. People gave us up for dead, but we’re not dead, and we’ve got to keep fighting like this against every opponent.”

Cagliari’s issue had been a lack of goals, but they scored four this evening, so maybe the defence is their next concern.

“We didn’t start well, we made mistakes on the Parma goals and knew they were really good at flicking on long balls. We scored four today, but can’t always score four in order to pick up three points. We have to be more balanced and improve our defending, as that could be decisive from here to the end of the season.”

Joao Pedro and Semplici both went to console Parma midfielder Jasmin Kurtic after the final whistle, as he was distraught.

“Kurtic was my player at SPAL, I get along well with him. I saw him crying and it seemed only right, knowing what it’s like to be in that situation, to go over and reassure him.”

Gaston Pereiro came off the bench and made the difference, as he scored the equaliser for 3-3 and then floated the cross for Alberto Cerri’s header.

“Gaston has a lot of quality and if he can get stronger in terms of character, he can make a huge difference. He’s someone who can change the game and I am currently using him as an impact substitute, because he has those characteristics.

“I just wish we could show the same determination for the full 90 minutes.”