Interviews

De Zerbi: It's been a fantastic experience

Head coach looking forward to return fixture against his first opponents Liverpool.

By Bruce Talbot • 14 January 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi's first game in charge of Albion was at Liverpool in October.

Roberto De Zerbi says his first four months as head coach has been a ‘fantastic’ experience.

The Italian believes there is more strength in depth in his squad; that he has integrated more younger players and that he is lucky to have players with such a strong mentality.

De Zerbi's first game in charge was the 3-3 draw at Anfield in October and he is looking forward to Liverpool’s visit to the Amex today.

Asked about his Albion career to date, her said, “I’m very happy and I am enjoying it a lot. I'm lucky to work with these players, in this club.  For me everything is fantastic at the moment. We have lost some games and we haven’t won a lot of times in our stadium and I'm sorry for this, but we are working and focused on [improving] this.

02:23

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PL Highlights: Liverpool 3 Albion 3

“But if you ask me about the Premier League, about the UK and about my first period in in this country I can only speak in fantastic way.

“I am lucky to work with these players. There are many of our players with the right mentality and I am also speaking about the young players, because they also have a fantastic mentality. [Tariq] Lamptey is very young, but he is old in terms of mentality. [Evan] Ferguson is 18, but he is a player that is already mature. 

“We are growing. And for this to continue our mentality is important. Mentality is not only Saturday at 3pm - mentality is Monday at 10am in the training session and it’s a Thursday at 4am in the night. You have to think the next game at all times and then you can build the right mentality with the right attitude every day and in every session.

“And when you arrive in this way, you are always ready to play the game and progress.”

De Zerbi has no injury concerns ahead of today’s game with Danny Welbeck and Adam Webster, who returned to action from the bench in last Saturday's 5-1 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, in contention.

They are able to start, but Ferguson and [Levi] Colwill have played very well. The squad is bigger now, they can all play – Sarmiento, Enciso and Lamptey. We have 18, 19 players in with a chance of playing. This is the way to work better, to fight for a place in the first XI, to progress the intensity in the session, with all players ‘inside’ the project.”