De Zerbi's best bits from Grimsby press conference

Head coach on Sunday's tie, Solly's new contract and bringing back Rob Sanchez.

By Bruce Talbot • 18 March 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi led Albion to two wins and a draw in March.

Roberto De Zerbi’s thoughts ahead of Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Grimsby Town.

On Solly March becoming the latest player to sign a new contract…

It’s great news, he deserves this new contract. We are happy for him. I am happy for him because he is my player and I want the great players to stay with me. Lallana, Mac Allister, Caicedo and March, they are very big players and I am really pleased for them and for me.

On Solly’s excellent form since the World Cup break…

I have given him the confidence, maybe another way to play, another possibility to score more goals, but the praise is not something that I deserve. Solly was and is a great player and I knew that before I started to work here. Solly defends more than [Kaoru] Mitoma. Can he reach 20 goal involvements in a season? Maybe not 20, but 14-15 he is able to achieve. I think he can improve in ball possession and I would like him to stay more inside of the game, but I'm delighted for him and his performances.”


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March on his contract extension

On the threat posed by Grimsby….

We started to think about Grimsby at the end of the Palace game and we know very well the importance and the difficulty of the game. Is Charlton a reminder of what can go wrong against a team you are expected to beat? Yes, but I think we didn’t make a mistake of arrogance. We played well, I remember. We didn’t find the right moment, the right way to score, the problem wasn’t arrogance. 

We have to play with tempo, without arrogance, but we are Brighton and if we play at the same level as Leeds, Palace in the last game, we have a big chance to win the game.

On choosing Robert Sanchez for the tie…

Robert is working very well. The decision [to play Jason Steele in the Premier League] was only for the style of the keeper, not attitude or other things. We have two keepers that are different, but both are very good. Before making the decision I didn't sleep for a lot of nights, it was very difficult, and I was sorry for Robert. I know the mentality of the players when they don't play, but I have to be honest and to follow my idea and do the best for the team.
It was a difficult decision, but Robert knows very well my opinion and what I want to see in his style of play. The problem for Robert is not to work harder, we know his qualities.