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Semplici: 200 and counting for SPAL

Leonardo Semplici marks 200 games on the SPAL bench, from Serie C to the top flight, ahead of today’s encounter with Parma. “It’s a wonderful journey.”

It kicks off at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“A victory would give us confidence in what we are doing and help us move forward,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“We know that Parma have a lot of quality and area solid opponent, so we need focus and determination. I want to see a furore and desire to win that is different to what we’ve exhibited in recent weeks.

“All of us must have the desire to prove we can do better than this. Our fans have always supported us and we have to repay them with a good performance.

“There were some good things in the game against Juventus, but we lost, so can only think about what we could and should have done better. We had the opportunities and didn’t take them.”

Parma’s danger man is undoubtedly Gervinho on the counter-attack, while Roberto Inglese is strong in the air.

“It’ll be important to attack, but without leaving ourselves open, because Parma are devastating on the counter. We always try to take the initiative and attack, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We never intend to sit back.

“I am not playing Mattia Valoti at the moment because he cannot give us the balance we need right now. I spoke to him and have absolute confidence in him, but until we have a team with the right balance, we cannot give the support he needs.”

This will be Semplici’s 201st competitive match on the SPAL bench, having taken over in December 2014, guiding them to promotion from Serie C back into Serie A after 50 years.

“Thinking back to when I arrived and where we are now, it’s genuinely moving. It is a wonderful journey and I hope it can be capped off with another great achievement.”

Federico Di Francesco and Marco D’Alessandro are out injured for this game, but it remains to be seen who will partner Andrea Petagna in attack.

SPAL squad for Parma: Berisha, Letica, Thiam; Cannistrà, Cionek, Felipe, Igor, Tomovic, Vicari; Kurtic, Missiroli, Murgia, Reca, Sala, Strefezza, Valdifiori, Valoti; Floccari, Jankovic, Moncini, Paloschi, Petagna

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