Genoa coach Davide Ballardini explains what revitalised Mattia Destro and assures they will get results with ‘performances like this’ after a 2-1 defeat to Milan.
Destro’s free header had cancelled out an Ante Rebic half-volley, but the game was decided at San Siro by a corner bouncing off Gianluca Scamacca from six yards.
Only a double goal-line clearance on Andrea Masiello and Valon Behrami prevented Genoa from equalising late on.
“We are all disappointed, but also know that we had a good game. If you put in performances like this, the results will come,” Ballardini told DAZN.
“It had been a long time since Genoa had played with such generosity, determination and quality. There is disappointment to emerge empty-handed, but we must transform that anger into more confidence going forward, knowing we can play like this against one of the top teams.”
Ballardini was asked about the focus on the 3-5-2 formation and struggle to adapt to opponents.
“We have 10 defenders, six or seven of them are centre-backs. We basically had no full-backs today, the only one available in a four-man defence was Ghiglione, and Cassata played on the left.
“Teams are built based on the characteristics of the players in the squad, so you need to make the most of out their strengths. This was a team created to play with two strikers and a three-man defence.”
Destro was on target again today and this is by far his most prolific season for many years.
“It’s all his credit, because he trains very well, he cares about the team, he looks after himself off the field and on it. You can see he is always involved in the game and obviously has natural talent that is difficult to find, that killer instinct in front of goal.
“He puts in the effort and knows how to find the net. Genoa are fortunate enough to have a large squad, with 28-29 players, but everyone feels involved and puts in the effort. Even if they don’t play, they still work hard and feel like they are participating.”
Genoa director Francesco Marroccu said before kick-off that Ballardini would certainly be on the bench next season.
“I thank Marroccu, but that’s not true. Genoa have to do well until the end of the season. We have an objective and the rest will be evaluated once we achieve it.”