Alberto De Rossi has issued a rallying cry ahead of his Primavera’s side return to Coppa Italia action on Wednesday.
Speaking on the eve of the round-of-16 match against Atalanta, De Rossi declared: “In recent years we have always done well in this competition and we want to continue that this season.”
The match is a one-legged contest, with the winner advancing directly to the quarter-finals but De Rossi believes this makes little difference to his preparations.
“We’re used to playing every match as if it were a one-off, even in the league. We face a team we know well and have a great deal of respect for. It’s going to be a tough match. Atalanta have always been a great side – they have a truly cutting-edge youth academy and that’s meant they have been able to bring lots of players through. It’s testament to the hard work they have done over the years.”
How important will your players’ mental approach to tomorrow’s match be?
“The guys have already shown they can make the switch back to domestic action after an international break. We lost track of our ideas a bit in Palermo – after taking the lead we dropped back and the game started to be played further away from their goal. We need to put the errors we made against Palermo behind us because we can’t afford to make them tomorrow.”
You have a packed cycle of eight matches before the Christmas break. How do you prepare the team for that?
“We need to become accustomed to having high-profile matches against teams that have made football history, like Barcelona. We should be proud of that. We deserve to go a long way in the UEFA Youth League, like we did last year, without forgetting the league and the Coppa Italia.”