We take on Fiorentina in the second leg of our Round of 32 tie tonight (Thursday, February 25) with the scores level at 1-1 after last week’s first leg in Florence.
We spoke to Mauricio about the mood in the camp this week and the challenge faced by both the team and on a personal, coaching front against an Italian side.
How has the mood been this week after the loss in the FA Cup against Palace?
Maurcio: “The mood in training is good. We’re disappointed about the result in the FA Cup but in football, you cannot stop, you have to move on and we’re ready for this second leg.”
Do you sense a determination from the players to put that right?
Mauricio: “Yes, it’s important for us. We were disappointed because I think we deserved to go to the next round of the FA Cup but we didn’t score and you always have to score to win games. We’ve recovered quickly, we’re ready and have the energy to play. We know Fiorentina are a very good team and we know we will need to perform well to go through to the next round.”
Below: Our chalkboard shows our successful and key passes in last week's first leg
How do you see this second leg after the 1-1 draw in Florence?
Mauricio: “It will be a very tough game. Fiorentina are playing well, they are in a good position in Serie A and a good team. We expect a difficult game and we need to show we deserve to go to the next round. We need to play the game from the beginning with energy and good quality.”
Is it fair to say that Fiorentina are not a ‘typical’ Italian side with Paulo Sousa in charge?
Mauricio: “Yes, they try to play in a similar philosophy to us. But today in Italy the teams have started to change, the culture is not like it was many years ago. The new generation of managers try to play.”
Below: Fiorentina's successful and key passes last week
How much do you enjoy the challenge of taking on an Italian team from a coaching perspective?
Mauricio: “It’s a good challenge but it doesn’t change too much today in Germany, Italy or Spain. Football is tactical game. All the coaches are different with different philosophies but it’s always a challenge.”
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