Roberto De Zerbi's best bits before facing the champions

The head coach looks ahead to tonight’s game against the champions.

By Bruce Talbot • 24 May 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi.

Roberto De Zerbi covered a range of topics ahead of Wednesday's Premier League clash with the champions, Manchester City.

On getting a point to secure Europa League qualification…

The focus is to play seriously. We want to play in the Europa League and we have to get another point. We have to think to win the game and play seriously with our quality, with our mentality. Two games left and we have a big, big, big target, bigger than [reaching] the Conference League. We respect the Conference League but if we have the possibility to play in a more prestigious competition we have to try and take it.

On Pep Guardiola’s achievement in taking City to five titles in six years…

I can’t forget that when I arrived here I received his phone call, and he helped me a lot in the first period here. He was very nice with me. My opinion is that he is the best coach in the Premier League and the best coach in the past 30 years. It’s my opinion but I think a lot of people think like me.

On whether City have any weaknesses…

In football, you can always play better, but you can still lose the game. We will play with our style and mentality, but if Manchester City play to their best ability, it will be very hard. Not just for Brighton, but for Real Madrid, for Arsenal. It will be an honour for us to give our congratulations [and a guard of honour].

On whether reaching Europe can help the club keep its best players…


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PL Highlights: Albion 3 Southampton 1

I think it can, that they can have more motivation. The players have one career, one life and we can’t decide for them.

On the transition to European football and the busier schedule…

We are getting used to playing so many games. This month we played seven, today will be the sixth and then the seventh in Aston Villa. So, 14 games in two months for Brighton is very tough. To be ready to play a fourth competition we must build a squad of 23 and 24 players, excluding goalkeepers, then we will see the quality of the squad, but the number of the players is crucial. When I say I want to compete, I want to try to win in every competition. We have to be ready to play I don't know how many games.