Italiano explains Fiorentina tactical tweak

Vincenzo Italiano explains how his tactical adjustment neutralised Monza, ambitions for fourth place and a...

Italiano explains Fiorentina tactical tweak

Vincenzo Italiano explains how his tactical adjustment neutralised Monza, ambitions for fourth place and a Christmas bonus. ‘I will pay to take them all out to dinner.’

The Viola had the ideal start to their game at the U-Power Stadium, as Lucas Beltran’s high press made the most of a shocking howler of a pass from goalkeeper Michele Di Gregorio.

It really should’ve been 2-0 moments later, but Jonathan Ikone dribbled around Di Gregorio only to take an extra touch, allowing Danilo D’Ambrosio to make the goal-line clearance.

“I think Fiorentina are starting to get tired, so today we had to focus on bringing home some important points to go into the break more relaxed,” Italiano told DAZN.

“We gave our all to get this win, including a change of system and an extra defender to stop Monza coming back into the game, a move that paid off. We are starting to play with a different level of maturity compared to the start of the season and are going to enjoy this position in the table.”

The victory temporarily puts Fiorentina in fourth place, awaiting tomorrow’s results, so is a spot in the Champions League in their sights for this season?

“It is pleasing to be in fourth place and we are proud of what we are doing. It is a long and tough road ahead, we know those other teams in the race will climb back up, but for now we are enjoying being in fourth place, top of our Conference League group and into the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

“We are on track with our plans for this season, perhaps a little ahead of schedule actually.”

In the second half, Fiorentina moved to a three-man defence in order to mirror and neutralise Monza, which worked remarkably well, so will Italiano try that experiment again in future?

“We do try it in training for emergencies. I was afraid of Monza tonight, as they are so good at cross-field passes, isolating you in one-on-one situations and then flooding the box with five or six attacking players. When I saw they were trying to introduce more quality off the bench, I had to add a defender, because Monza were pouring forward.

“We are also really tired at this point and that took some of the pressure off, as after that change of tactics, Monza did not create any more chances.”

Italiano reveals he has plans to reward his Fiorentina squad during the break for Christmas, before they get back on the pitch against Torino at the Stadio Franchi on December 29.

“The agreement was that if we got a good result here, I would leave the players in peace for a few days. I will pay to take them all out to dinner on the 27th, because it hasn’t happened yet this season. We need rest and rest is also part of training, so let’s leave them be.”