Davide Nicola insists Salernitana ‘gave our all’ in the 2-0 loss to local rivals Napoli and explains his tactical changes to avoid another hammering.
It had been a rather chaotic week for Salernitana, as they sacked coach Nicola after a shocking 8-2 defeat to Atalanta, then recalled him only 48 hours later.
He was back on the bench this evening at the Stadio Arechi for the 2-0 defeat to runaway Serie A leaders Napoli.
“We gave our all, facing a team that beat everyone in Italy and Europe, so in a certain sense we can be glad that we came so close to reopening the game when Alex Meret made a great save,” Nicola told DAZN.
“Having so many difficulties, including a flu bug going through the squad, I am pleased that the lads gave their all.”
The coach shifted from a 3-5-2 formation to four at the back in order to increase their defensive solidity.
“In analysing Napoli’s characteristics, there was the risk we would be stretched out, and lately we have conceded far too many counter-attacks, so it was essential we slow their passing moves down. In moments like this, being solid defensively is how you secure safety.
“We wanted to limit Di Lorenzo tactically and are trying to make adjustments to the shape depending on the opposition, even if the players are still more or less the same.”
The crowd gave a warm welcome to Nicola and seemed to turn its ire towards the players for lacking determination.
Salernitana had been mid-table, but recent results saw them slide down and Verona beat Lecce 2-0 today to close the gap from the drop zone too.
“It is never easy after a defeat where you concede that many goals. We just need to keep working and go forward.”