Montella: Atalanta 'worst possible rivals'

Fiorentina Coach Vincenzo Montella believes Atalanta are the ‘worst possible opponents’ they could be playing in their Coppa Italia semi-final on Thursday.

Speaking at a Press conference on the eve of his side’s trip to Bergamo, Montella talked up the Dea and the good work they had been doing in recent seasons.

“We must go into the game with the right mentality, without any fear, knowing that they are the worst possible opponents we could face as they are a physical and determined team,” he explained.

“They all know their roles and in the final third they always take their chances, so we will have to concentrate for the 90 minutes.

“They deserve all the praise they get. They play fast and entertaining football. They are in good form and have a small advantage from the first leg.”

The first leg ended 3-3 at the Artemio Franchi as the Viola fought back from two goals down.

“I watched that game through the eyes of a Coach, it was exciting,” he continued.

“Atalanta are a team who can concede. That game proved, however, that Fiorentina were equal to them.

“The fact they have away goals has to be an extra incentive for us to give 100 percent.

“As there is no such thing as an impossible match, I believe we can get a good result here. We have the opportunity to reach the final.”

It is reported that around 2,000 Fiorentina fans will travel for the game, their spirits lifted by a narrow 2-1 defeat to Juventus last weekend. 

“We need to believe a little more, against Juve the team showed a great spirit and desire to fight.

“I feel the enthusiasm of the fans and I would like the team to play all the time with that spirit.”

Montella went on to confirm that he had an almost fully-fit squad to pick from, with just Marko Pjaca out injured.

He was then asked about the last time his team had reached the Final of the Coppa Italia against Napoli in 2014, a game marred by the death of Partenopei fan Ciro Esposito.

Montella was in charge of Fiorentina that night and, as a Neapolitan, felt the tension building in the stadium.

“It was a terrible evening, both for the pre-game incidents and the game itself,” confessed the former Milan boss.

“We went close to equalising with the extra man, in a game that could have changed the recent history of Fiorentina.

“It would be a great result to reach the Final this year and finally bring a trophy to Florence.”

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