La Gazzetta dello Sport interview – Ciro Ferrara: “Under pressure? No.”

Back by popular demand, Football Italiano translates an interview each week from the pink pages of La Gazzetta dello Sport to provide English readers a fascinating insight into the world of Serie A’s biggest names. This week, under pressure Juventus Coach Ciro Ferrara discusses the many talking points surrounding the Turin club ahead of their game against Parma.

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Vinovo, Torino, January 5, 2010 – The revolution has officially begun: Juventus will look back and dust off the old [Claudio] Ranieri 4-4-2 tactic. The midfield needs to be more compact, and injuries allow for few alternatives. Ciro Ferrara will scrap the diamond, but he keeps faith in Diego and will probably give the Brazilian a starting shirt, alongside [David] Trezeguet. Juventus must win at all costs, but the Coach does not feel his job is in the balance: “I believe the club trusts me, I need to improve results.” There are some important decisions to be made: “Diego and Del Piero are vying for the same spot but they are not the only two players fighting over the same shirt.”

Change in formation: “During the week we have practiced 4-4-2, but the main thing is not a change in formation but that the final result changes. The return to a four-man midfield is not only to bring the best out of [Felipe] Melo, but to bring about a change in attitude. I’m not denying the validity of what we have done up till now, but we change according to the situation. Our purchases over the summer were not made specifically for the diamond formation, but to bring two big players to Turin. Admittedly, we did work a lot on the diamond tactic in pre-season, as that was our initial set up. But often, due to injury, we have been forced into changing. The decision was mine, I can think for myself. But I also consulted certain elements within the team to better understand the difficulties.”

Confidence: “The club does observe my work, and notwithstanding the negative results has stood by me. It’s usual for a club to be demanding of their Coach, that doesn’t bother me. Limited trust? I have never felt that the trust in me was limited, I feel the club has pride in me, but I must work to improve results. A Coach is judged by results. Will there still be confidence in me if we lose the next two games? I’m not the right person to answer that. I know how things go in these situations. [Guus] Hiddink? It’s not the only name to be mentioned, I don’t let it affect me, I’m very relaxed at work. I try to do it honestly and calmly. The team? The players also read the newspapers, I don’t know if this affects them or not.”

Melo: “I’ve rediscovered a squad that has the desire to stop the rot, we need to get back to playing with the enthusiasm we had at the start of the season. I’ve spoken with Felipe. But there has been no clearing of the air, just a normal conversation like many others. We are both working to achieve the same goal, he mustn’t do well for himself or for me, but for Juventus. I have no problem with him, but as a Coach I have to make decisions that could mean leaving a player as important as him out. Against Catania, Felipe remained on the bench after he was subbed, he behaved like a pro, and there was no reaction despite him being understandably a little angry.”

Motivation: “It’s the facts that count. I don’t believe that the players need to play for me. Its not right that they give more effort for the Coach, the players must take to the field because of the shirt on their back. I doubt there are some against me, I’d be already out. Fear? I don’t talk of fear. When results don’t come, nothing is certain and maybe there is extra instability. Playing in these situations is never easy. To play football you must never be affected by outside influences. Maybe they want to cause an argument between me and certain players, this is very dangerous. I read of a fight between [Alessandro] Del Piero and Diego during training. Other than a tackle I don’t think there has ever been a verbal altercation between the two.”

Responsibility: “I’ve never hidden away or ever held back. I don’t think that there is a bad atmosphere around me. It’s not great, but I’m very relaxed. I do my best and act professional. I’m part of Juventus. Myself, the players and the club are as disappointed as much as the fans are. Each of us is responsible. I don’t feel left out, I’m also included in the protests. Right now we mustn’t worry about our rivals, we have important issues to resolve. There is no player that has let me down, it’s the situation we are in that disappoints me. I’m with the team, I’m fully responsible about the situation but not disappointed in my work, just the results.”

Transfer Market: “There is no need to go into the transfer market due to [Cristian] Molinaro’s departure, we are covered. In the event that Tiago should leave, we would then need to look for a new face in midfield.”

Parma: “I fully respect our opponent, no match is comfortable. Parma are going well, they are very close to us in the table, and deservedly so. A tough game. [Claudio] Marchisio can also play on the left of midfield.”

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