Montella: "Atalanta an organised team. We want to do well in the Coppa"

Viola boss Vincenzo Montella sat down with us for a look ahead to tomorrow’s Coppa Italia clash against Atalanta at the Stadio Artemio Franchi: Last time Fiorentina appeared in the Coppa Italia, the match itself was overshadowed by the terrible events before the game. “Absolutely. It was one of my worst experiences in football. Quite aside from the result, it was a horrible evening. We were disappointed to lose, of course, but the real shame was the off-field trouble. It’s in the past now, and we need to focus on the match. We hold the Coppa Italia in high regard at both squad and club level. We’ll show maximum effort and maximum determination tomorrow to ensure we get through.” Atalanta will certainly be buzzing after a fine win over Milan at San Siro last time out. What are you expecting from Stefano Colantuono’s side? “They’re a very tough, organised side. In a way, they’re the classic Italian team that stops you from playing well. They’ve got some great players, too. It was a really important win for them on Sunday and it’s always a prestigious scalp to go to Milan and win. We’re expecting it to be a very tough match, but aside from that I’m sure they’ll want to come here and do well. They’ll be aiming to qualify for the next round, so we need to approach the match as we would a final – there can only be one winner tomorrow.” You’ve already met Atalanta in the league this season, a 0-1 away win thanks to a goal from Kurtic. Are you expecting a different match? “Atalanta are an experienced side and they know their game inside out. As I said before, they’re very tactically organised side, a very competitive side, so we’ll have to show those characteristics too. On top of that, I think we’ve got the necessary quality to do well tomorrow.”

After the dramatic victory over Chievo thanks to that last-minute Babacar strike, another piece of good news arrived in the form of Savic’s contract renewal. Might we see him back in the side tomorrow?
“Well, he took one for the team against Parma and has been rewarded for that! All jokes aside, he’s an important young player for us. He’s got a strong group ethic and is a very competitive young man. Because of that, he’s got a great future ahead of him.” Will you be ringing the changes ahead of Sunday night’s clash with Roma, or are you not even thinking about that match yet? “We’ve got good depth in our squad and I’ll certainly be putting out a very competitive team tomorrow. We need to have a look at a couple of issues relating to fitness, but aside from that I’ll be picking my team to win the game.” How far is Diamanti away from being available? “Well, we need to keep a close eye on his physical conditioning. There’s no point in rushing things. We’re all really looking forward to having him at 100%.” Is there a chance we might see Rosati or even Neto between the sticks? “Neto’s available, though Tata hasn’t played that much really. We know all about Rosati, but he’s only been here a few days. In any case, I think Tata is more than able to start the match tomorrow. Any playing time at the Franchi is good for him, but I won’t be revealing my selection just yet!”