Vincenzo Italiano gave some tactical insight into how Fiorentina put together their extraordinary run of results as they host Lech Poznan for a place in the Conference League semi-finals.
It kicks off at the Stadio Artemio Franchi at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).
The Viola are unbeaten since February 12 with 11 wins and three draws in all competition and are seeking a 10th consecutive Conference League victory.
If they do win today, it will equal the record set by Milan in 1992-93 of 10 European successes on the trot.
Luka Jovic returns to the starting XI, having been benched in favour of on-form Arthur Cabral repeatedly.
“Jovic has not been a protagonist lately due to a few fitness issues. As he has improved a lot over the last week, and with so many fixtures tiring the lads out, it is only right to give a chance to a striker who tends to flourish in this competition. He knows where the goal is and I expect him to do well today,” Italiano told Sky Sport Italia.
Fiorentina started the season with a few stutters, but seem to have found a completely different gear in all competitions during 2023.
“Recently we have been using a midfielder that acts like a trequartista, so it opens up a few passing channels and a central defender covers the gap.
“We need the full-backs to help out or we risk dangerous situations, but if we stick to the plan, it gives us some definite advantages. It’s all part of the plan.”
Italiano and the players never lost hope even when some were calling for him to be fired, as he continued to push through disappointing results.
“The performances always gave me a sense of optimism, because we always did create chances and play well, the results just weren’t following on. We kept the faith, Cabral and Jovic started scoring regularly, we defended with more character and determination.
“A defender can always have time to make the block, he can always get back and make up for any error, as Beppe Bergomi used to say, and that is what I always tell my players.”