By Matthew Chadder

2nd Jun, 2023 | 7:40am

West Ham United: Extraordinary admission from Fiorentina coach emerges before Conference League

Vincenzo Italiano has confessed that his Fiorentina team have been preparing to make tactical fouls during the Europa Conference League final clash against West Ham.

The two teams will meet in Prague on Wednesday 7 June as they both look to end a more than 50-year wait for a major European trophy.

Ahead of the match, Fiorentina coach Italiano admitted his side is ready to use tactical fouls to match West Ham’s style of play.

As reported by The Times (1 June) Italiano said, “They are a team that defends on the edge of the box and tries to go on the counter.

“I expect this kind of attitude from our opponents, and we will try to not give them dangerous balls, and to work on tactical fouls, preventative tackles to avoid counterattacks: these are the counter-measures to play against this kind of attitude.

“We know their qualities, we hope that we have found some weak spots and to exploit them in the final. We need to be very respectful and very cautious, we need to play a very cautious game because otherwise, it will be very complicated for us.”

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Warning to West Ham

David Moyes will have been alerted to these comments by Italiano and will make sure to have his players fully prepared for next Wednesday.

Although it is unusual for a manager to openly admit to preparing to make tactical fouls in a match, it should come as no surprise that this was part of Fiorentina’s game plan next Wednesday. West Ham would have been fully expecting this.

In a match of this magnitude, a European Cup final, both players will be prepared to leave everything on the field to drag their team across the line, and tactical fouls are part of that.

In some ways, this admission by Italiano could play into the hands of Moyes and his side, as they can now be prepared to exploit Fiorentina’s plans. They may perhaps look to wind up the players and get some of them booked early on, in order to put to a stop their ability to make those tactical fouls mentioned later in the match.

Whatever does happen between now and Wednesday in terms of preparation, ultimately it will all come down to the 90 minutes on the pitch and West Ham will be fully prepared for that.

In other West Ham news, the club has been warned against a potential signing.