Crotone coach Serse Cosmi is proud that his men continued to push every opponent this season, long after their relegation was decided. ‘Nobody would’ve been surprised if we’d given up, but we didn’t.’
Benevento needed a victory and were leading for most of the game with Gianluca Lapadula’s goal, Crotone having Vladimir Golemic sent off after just 23 minutes, but Nwankwo Simy equalised in the final moments.
“If some people only recognise the last minute and not all that we’ve done in recent months, against the likes of Napoli, Lazio and Bologna, even Spezia. We not only honoured the league, we played our game to the very end,” Cosmi told Sky Sport Italia.
“A goal down, a man down for over an hour, nobody would’ve been surprised if we had given up, but we didn’t. We stayed in the game, we kept going and the substitutes did a great job in setting up the equaliser that had seemed impossible.”
Simy scored the equaliser, his 20th Serie A goal of the season, but he is widely expected to move on this summer.
“In my view, Simy is the player you saw today. He is a ruthless poacher in the box, but he can also really help the team and work for them. His penalties are impeccable. He is a player who in my view belongs in Serie A.
“It’ll all depend on where he goes and how he will be used in future, but I can say as his coach that he is an extraordinary young man and that is what every coach wants to know.”
Benevento boss Pippo Inzaghi was understandably heart-broken at the late equaliser, because now Torino need just one point from the final two games to be safe.
“I’ve been in situations like this before too, so I know what it feels like. It’s only right that those who step onto the pitch give their all, but it’d be a huge mistake to suggest Benevento lost it all today.
“They had a fantastic first half to the season and I don’t know why they lost their way in the second half of the campaign,” noted Cosmi.
“As for my future, I don’t know what will happen. Crotone confirmed Giovanni Stroppa a couple of years ago after their relegation, he won promotion again in Serie B the next season. We agreed to talk it over after the season had finished and that’s what we’ll do.
“There is a certain defensive fragility in the squad, but a coach cannot shirk his responsibility when there are individual errors. I think what the team lacked was a sense of how to defend as a unit, something we developed more in recent weeks. Perhaps with a few more mature and experienced players at the back, things might’ve gone differently. Of course, if things had gone differently, I wouldn’t have been hired!
“Honestly, I feel satisfied with the work we’ve done here since coming in and I am happy with that. Crotone is a city that showed great resilience and positivity in football, so I am sure they’ll return to Serie A soon.”