STADIO ARTEMIO FRANCHI (FLORENCE) – Vincenzo Montella was pleased with his team’s overall performance, as he returned on the Fiorentina bench and the Viola drew 0-0 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi against Bologna.
Montella replaced Pioli, who resigned on Monday after falling out with the club owners, and the new coach publicly thanked the work of his predecessor.
“I spoke to Pioli and thanked him, because I found a group of players who has great work ethic and in great physical shape,” Montella underlined.
“It’s part of the game – when a coach loses his job, another one comes back in.”
Montella thanked Stefano Pioli, the man he replaced, for how he found the group of players, and urged the fans to be united and optimistic.
“I am pleased with the mentality and what we created,” Montella told reporters after the game.
“We didn’t dominate, but we were superior. We were better in the second half. We needed a bit of luck, like when we hit the post.
“We created chances, and need to be more convincing. There’s a lot of work still to be done.
“I am sad about the fact the players were very disappointed after the game. I want to thank the fans who applauded me and tried to get behind the team.”
In protest against Fiorentina owners Diego and Andrea Della Valle, the Viola ultras did not take their place in the Curva Fiesole for the entire first half, and then chanted against the club owners for most of the second, exposing the pessimism of most of the fanbase.
“The atmosphere is not optimistic, but last time I arrived back in 2012 the situation was worse and we managed to do well afterwards,” he said.
“Now it’s down to us to get the fans back on our side. In Florence, when everyone is united we can do better.”