Davide Nicola admits Salernitana ‘felt the tension’ as their Serie A status was decided in Venice, despite a heavy home defeat. ‘We had three months of extraordinary intensity.’
The coach is not new to miracles, having achieved the most extraordinary comebacks from desperate situations with Crotone, then Genoa and now Salernitana too.
When he took over on February 15, they seemed doomed to the drop, but put together four wins, six draws and five defeats to clamber out of the drop zone.
They needed one more miracle this evening, having lost 4-0 at home to Udinese, because Cagliari failed to go beyond a 0-0 draw with Venezia and therefore the Sardinians go down to Serie B with Genoa and Venezia.
“It was a difficult final match for both teams in the fight for safety, so I am happy for these fans, the director and the President,” Nicola told DAZN.
“It was not easy, perhaps we felt the tension more than was necessary this evening, so we struggled badly. I am truly happy for the journey we’ve had together.”
In the final 15-20 minutes, nobody in the stadium was watching the Salernitana game, instead they were all on their phones checking for news from Venice.
“Generally, the only thing you can do in sport is focus on your own performances, but sometimes it also depends on other results. It wasn’t the performance we wanted, we wasted a lot of scoring opportunities and made errors in defence.”
Salernitana were transformed in the January transfer window, under new ownership after being minutes away from being thrown out of Serie A because Lazio patron Claudio Lotito could not run two clubs simultaneously.
“We had three months together of extraordinary intensity and I think at the end of the day we deserved to stay in Serie A.
“In the adventures I take on, I am always determined. I have to say, without these fans, this President and director, we would not have made it.”
Will Nicola remain on the Salernitana bench next season?
“I just want to enjoy this moment, because I rarely get to do that.”
Survival for Salernitana! 🇮🇹
Written off by so many, beaten 4-0 by Udinese on the final day, but Davide Nicola’s side retain their place in Serie A.
Jubilation at the Arechi! pic.twitter.com/fPakrwrhRE
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 22, 2022