Wednesday September 18 2013
Montella: 'How far can Viola go?'

Vincenzo Montella is curious to see “how far Fiorentina can go” in the Europa League, starting with Pacos Ferreira.

The Viola begin their continental campaign on Thursday evening against the Portuguese side, who were knocked out in the Champions League preliminary round. It kicks off at the Stadio Franchi at 18.00 UK time (17.00 GMT).

“I probably would’ve rested the players who are injured anyway, so it should be my ‘first’ choice tomorrow,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

Mario Gomez and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado are out of action for several weeks, but David Pizarro should start as he will sit out a two-match Serie A ban.

The Chilean was sent off for dissent during the 1-1 draw with Cagliari, which also saw Montella lose his temper with the referee.

“Seeing myself on television, I didn’t recognise that man. I generally do not judge technical errors. I don’t know if I want to go back over the situation, but I saw other players such as Mario Balotelli and Parma’s Alessandro Lucarelli who were much more aggressive with referees and didn’t get red cards.

“I always tell my players not to protest, but if there are incidents that warrant a reaction like that...”

As for the Europa League, the Coach is not hiding his ambition for Fiorentina’s return to the tournament.

“Our objective is to do our best. Naturally, we didn’t get back into Europe just to take part. We will do our all and see how far Fiorentina can go.

“These fixtures are played at a higher pace than in Serie A, but we have to interpret the movement of all the different teams.

“We always play to win, regardless of our opponents. Pacos had a record campaign last season, like to keep the ball and are quality opponents. Italian sides are often troubled by the Portuguese teams.”

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