Wednesday February 19 2014
Montella: 'Viola ready for Esbjerg'

Vincenzo Montella told Fiorentina to focus on Esbjerg and was welcomed by their new bus driver – Martin Jorgensen!

The Viola are in Denmark for the first leg of the Europa League Round of 32 tie, which kicks off at 18.00 GMT.

“They are an organised team, similar to Grasshopper,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“They do not have stand-out individuals, but are very good on the wings. The environmental conditions must not be used as an alibi. A lot depends on us, as we want qualification and have the right concentration for this task.

“We know the difficulties this tie holds for us and qualification must be earned on the field. Esbjerg already eliminated prestigious sides, so we can only beat them if we play at our best.”

Montella is expected to rotate the squad, including Marko Bakic and a potential substitute appearance for Mario Gomez.

“Names aside, I always pick the team that gives me the most guarantees of victory. Gomez doesn’t have the match fitness for 90 minutes yet. Our intention is to play him, we’ll see when...”

Fiorentina were controversially defeated 2-1 at home on Saturday by an Inter offside goal. Are the Tuscans angry?

“This team has already shown me in the past that it reacts well to these situations. Again, it must not be an alibi, but a reason to do better.”

Montella was asked whether he felt frustrated at not having Giuseppe Rossi, Gomez and others all fit at the same time.

“I am in reality and the reality of a Coach is making the best of the squad at his disposal. So far the team has done very well despite the difficulties. We mustn’t compare it to last season, as if anything we are building on the path we started last term, which was not easy.”

Former Fiorentina player Jorgensen welcomed his old team to Denmark and even drove the bus from the airport to their hotel.

“He is a friend to Fiorentina,” laughed Montella. “He made investments in transport, had his licence and wanted some practice!”