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Noceto, 17 September 2023 - Crociato coach, Salvatore Colantuono’s comments following Parma’s 2-1 win over Cesena in their Serie B Femminile season opener. “The most important thing was to take the three points home: in terms of the squad, we’re in a slightly difficult spot right now because we have so many girls out with injuries from last season and so we are kind of breathing down the necks of the few that are available. So it was a matter of overcoming this hurdle for now and then taking advantage of the international break; we now have two weeks to try to recover a few injured players and fill out the squad a bit. We brought home three points, building on last week's Coppa victory but there’s still lots of work to be done. The victory brings enthusiasm, it makes you work better in the week, but I am honest: I look at the performance before I look at the victory. Both today's performance and last Sunday's performance did not fully satisfy me; I take home the victories, they give us enthusiasm and make us work better, but from a performance point of view, we have to take a big step forward still. In particular, the team has to understand when it is time to consolidate and then slow down and when, on the other hand, it is time to speed up: we do not distinguish these phases enough as yet because there are times when we play almost like boxers: we throw a punch, and then take one, when, instead, we should throw a punch and then retreat and consolidate. We have to get better at managing the pace of games, without committing too much and offering ourselves up on the counter. Last week, against Bologna, we struggled to maintain territory in the first half. In the second half, however, the match took a different turn when we had the runs of DiStefano and Ferin in behind so I started them both. Playing with this system today, we held our own but in the second half, introducing Miotto and Kongouli and switching to the 4-3-3, we lost some territory; it didn’t work the way I thought it should. But then you have to think about our opponents: I would like to offer my compliments to Cesena, they’re a young team, well coached with lots of interesting players; they will do well in the league, just as they had an excellent preseason, losing only to Sassuolo in a friendly. This makes us realise how balanced the Serie B Championship is. Our team is improving physically; we must also give credit to our staff of athletic trainers and physiotherapists for this. They do everything they can to make sure that the team shows up on matchdays in the best possible condition. It has been seven weeks: integrating 22 new players is not easy, but the girls are responding positively and this is an important starting point to build on. We’re still committing technical errors in all of our matches, both in preseason friendlies and in official matches: if we want to have a significant campaign, we know we need to eliminate them and aim to be as precise as possible, to achieve our aim of placing high up in Serie B. To compete with the giants like Ternana, Lazio and Hellas Verona, you need to always be perfect. We are creating personalised programmes for the girls for this, to improve them from a technical and analytical point of view, we’ll get there. I am very happy with today’s match, the desire to go and attack the opponent going forward, to not let them play, even taking some risks with personality; on the other hand, I liked the second half less, when we took a few steps back, giving Cesena space that gave us a hard time in the last quarter of an hour.”

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