Mihajlovic backed to improve Fiorentina

On Wednesday, Fiorentina’s Chief Operating Officer Sandro Mencucci gave his backing to Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after last weekend’s underwhelming display away at Cesena. Mencucci told Italia Sette: “We can’t be happy with the game on Sunday and the Coach isn’t either. Yet now is not the moment to put Mihajlovic on trial. The Coach is not to be touched at this point and we hope he can stay with us for some time to come.”
How those words will resonate with the Fiorentina faithful will no doubt be known in the coming days and weeks. Mencucci isn’t the only person to be standing up for Mihajlovic’s case however. Captain Alessandro Gamberini told the club’s official website: “The criticisms are totally unjust. Mihajlovic is already doing a great job from last season when Fiorentina had so many problems.”
La Viola’s performance at the weekend was ordinary, especially given Cesena were bottom of the league going into the game, and then playing with 10 men for the final 20 minutes after Adrian Mutu’s sending off. The Cavallucci Marini performed much better than expected and have shown so far this season, and Fiorentina were still without their main man in Alberto Gilardino, but they were up against a side which has managed just two goals this campaign.
There were calls for Mihajlovic’s sacking this time last year, but Gamberini’s assessment that Fiorentina are better so far this season certainly seems true on paper. La Viola lost another key man in Stevan Jovetic in pre-season last year and went on to lose four of their opening seven games, including defeats away at Lecce and Sampdoria.
This year though, despite Gilardino’s absence, things are more evenly spread, with two wins, two draws and two defeats from the Tuscans opening six matches, with a tough encounter at home to Mihajlovic’s former club Catania to come at the weekend. Jovetic is back and playing well, Alessio Cerci has terrorised defences with his deceptive pace and trickery on the wings (a rare commodity in Serie A) and they have kept four clean sheets.
In a similar way to Inter when Jose Mourinho left for Real Madrid, Fiorentina appear to have suffered a hangover after the loss of a manager, or at least the supporters have. Undoubtedly, as the table doesn’t lie, fans have seen a dip in fortunes since Cesare Prandelli’s departure to take the Azzurri job before completing the seven year plan he set out on to win the Scudetto. Ironically, when Inter came calling in the summer for Mihajlovic to take the reigns after Leonardo moved on, Fiorentina fans were praying for the Nerazzurri to take him.
One wonders whether Fiorentina’s Champions League appearances in Prandelli’s final two seasons was over-achievement, and that his seven year plan for the Scudetto was too good to be true, giving la Viola fans false hope. After all, Fiorentina were playing under the name Florentia Viola in Serie C2 in 2002.
Mencucci concluded his interview with Italia Sette adding: “On paper we have a competitive squad, we just have to figure out which mechanism is needed to get them playing well.” Whether Mencucci means formation or Coach by the use of mechanism is something open to debate, but the Serb’s position as Coach seems secure for the moment. The onus is now on the Curva Fiesole to get behind their team or remain disgruntled at what might have been.

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