Roberto's pre-match best bits

The head coach looks ahead to today's game at the City Ground.

By Bruce Talbot • 25 November 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi addresses the media ahead of today's game against Nottingham Forest.

On Jakub Moder’s return to fitness adding to midfield options…

"Moder will be on the bench today. He can play 25 minutes maybe. Pascal Gross, Billy Gilmour and Carlos Baleba are available to play but we have to improve the physical condition of Moder because we then play against Athens, Chelsea, Marseille and we need all our players.

"Moder is different and he can be important. He can’t be his best [yet] because he lost a lot of time to injury, but we have to give him the chance to play and to understand our style of play because he has never played under me, but physically he’s different to, say, Gilmour."

On the lengthy injury list…

It’s very difficult but I don’t like to cry, I don’t like to speak about the injured players. I think we have enough for today and to qualify for the next step in Europe. Then we can be focussed. The situation is clear for everyone, it’s tougher than I thought it would be in the summer, but we have to push and keep playing."


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De Zerbi’s Nottingham Forest press conference

On Forest…

"They bought important players, different players. They have good midfielders, for instance [Nicolas] Dominguez played in Bologna. They are playing with three attackers and midfielders. To get points in the Premier League, you have to show your best otherwise you can’t win. We understand that very well for example from [the games] against Fulham and Sheffield United.

"They’re a very good team. I watched their game against Aston Villa, and they played very well. They have good players, and we expect a tough atmosphere. But we need to win points because we lost four points against Fulham and Sheffield United. We are playing well, better than one month ago and tomorrow the crucial part of the season in the Premier League and the Europa League starts and we will try to be competitive in every game."

On providing opportunities for young players…

"The players, to become better, they need to play; but we need points, so for the coaches it is very difficult to give them the chance to play but also [to decide] when it’s better to keep them on the bench for them to understand the play, and the timing of the play."

On Simon Adingra’s consistent form…

"He is showing his big quality. He is playing on the right and the left side and he is playing very well. He is absolutely one of the best players in this moment for us."