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Coach and captain speak

Fiorentina's manager and new captain have some thoughts about the game against Inter.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Fiorentina mister Paulo Sousa fielded some questions about the upcoming match against Inter Milan. He started out by discussing the table-topping opponents. "They have quality individuals, and also maturity and experience, including the manager. The club has an important history. The team is balanced, able to get results without creating many chances," although that could just as well describe Fiorentina. He tried his hand at some Jose Mourinho psych-outs, adding that the pressure is on the Nerazurri more than the Viola: "We don't have the advantage; we're just going to play a team that wants to challenge for the Scudetto. Right now, we should just be happy to compete at this level." He also diplomatically addressed the referee (Damato) who is known to be an Inter fan: "If we start with these doubts about the game, we can hardly do well. I'd rather point to the support of our fans than the referee."

He also talked about his team's style of play, specifically the fact that Fiorentina currently leads Serie A in time of possession. "It's certainly easier to win when you have possession. But we all have different ideas of the beautiful game. My colleague Vincenzo played a great game and had important players...Playing well, to me, is having absolute control of the game, while creating scoring chances."

New captain Gonzalo was also rather reserved, effusive in his praise for both his own team and his opponents. He singled out the Inter strikers for special praise. "Icardi is a good striker, but Inter generally have good strikers. Is he like Batistuta? It's difficult to compare anyone to Bati. I don't think there's a striker like him today."

He was even more complimentary about Viola alumnus Stevan Jovetic: "As for Jovetic, it's nice to meet a former teammate like him. I always had a good relationship with him, and he's a complete striker. He's physically strong, and has a good understanding with Icardi. We'll have to defend as a team." The importance of a team effort was the focus of Gonzalo's comments, actually, along with the length of the season. "We weren't poor before, and we aren't phenomenal now. We have to win every game, and now we'll think about winning on Sunday." He added, They’re top of the table, but we want to win on Sunday and take first place. We want to continue with this positive run of form, playing as we know we can, giving 100 per cent and playing with humility." He continued, "There are still a lot of points to be played for, there’s a long way to go and we’re only at the beginning of the season. We have to continue what we’ve been doing."

Overall, the mister and the captain sound confident, but respectful of their table-topping opponents. Hopefully the performance tomorrow backs up the words today.