Sarri addresses the left back crisis in pre-SPAL presser

Coach Maurizio Sarri gave some hints about the lineup and updated on the status of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic in the presser before the SPAL game.

On the hole at left back: “I saw that the executive Federico Cherubini is left-footed, I will try him there too. I do not consider the three-man defence an option if not for small chunks of games because we would end up defending with five and therefore track back too much. It also does not eliminate the fact that we have to put somebody on the left flank, we have some problems on the wings right now. We tried a solution yesterday, we will go through another one today and we will see.”

On Emre Can: “He was affected by the decision to exclude him from the UCL list. We were forced to cut two players. I saw him react recently in practice, we value him and we want him to recover him fully, but we will see about using him tomorrow.”

On adapting a centre-back: “The problem is that they are all right-footed, so there is a double problem, but we are considering it. We are deciding about whom amongst our lefties can fit the best there.”

On Mario Mandzukic and Daniele Rugani: “The latter can become an important piece. He will have his chances and he will have to take advantage of them. On the other hand, we have agreed to keep Mandzukic sideliend for now, then we will see when the transfer market windows will be over.”

On Aaron Ramsey: “I am hopeful he can play three times in a row as we took him out early. Playing an hour or 90 minutes is noticeably different. We are trying to spare him physically from the playing time standpoint and I think he could do that keeping that in mind.”

On Andrea Barzagli: “I discussed that with him in June, but he had some commitments and asked me if he could answer in September and so he did. We are happy that he is onboard, he has to take in our working method now, he will focus of the defensive phase because there are some players with some flaws there. For instance Juan Cuadrado can grown as a right back.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo: “I think that tomorrow’s game will be difficult, nobody is talking about SPAL. He can play next to any other player. Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala are great technically and Cristiano is world class so any couple can work and perhaps they can feature all three together in some stretches.”

On the tactics: “We have few players that can be used in the hole, like Dybala or Federico Bernardeschi besides Ramsey. As for now, it was deployed out of necessity, we can not figure out whether one is better than the other after one game. We will take stock after a series of matches, but it is fair to have not ready.”

On the Brescia goal: “I do not think Alex Sandro made a mistake, he had to follow the trailing player, otherwise he would have received the ball, there was an error in the middle.”

On Adrien Rabiot: “He can do more and I was happy with him considering the premises. He never played in 2019, we need to be patient. He already improved in the second half, he was more focused. He has good skills, also physical ones, he has stamina and technique. We need to accompany him and he has to get used to Italian football and to our style, because games are lighter at PSG. He will do that and will help us because he is quality player.”

On Champions League: “We need to stop thinking about the game ahead, even though it is difficult, because we need to be aggressive. Once in Naples, SPAL looked doomed  coming in and we had one of the most hard-fought matches of the season. This will be their attitude in this case as well.”

On the struggles of the last two matches: “If you go down in the score, against two healthy teams, it is not easy to comeback. We need to do more, we have to avoid conceding. We want to improve our approaches.”

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