Gabriele Cioffi reveals what he said to Daniel Farke after Crawley Town’s historic win against Norwich Cityby Jack Kitson / 28 August 2019, 17:02Tweet
Football is jam-packed with memorable moments and stunning upsets, both of which occurred at The Peoples Pension Stadium on Tuesday night when League Two outfit Crawley Town shocked Premier League opponents Norwich City in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
The victory, achieved thanks to a solitary goal from the in-form Beryly Lubala, was an historic one as it was the first time Crawley had ever beaten a Premier League side, and it meant they progressed into the third round of the competition for only the second time in their history.
“I was really happy,” Crawley manager Gabriele Cioffi exclusively told The Sack Race after orchestrating the cup triumph.
“My first thoughts went to the board and the chairman because they were the reason I had the chance to live this moment. They trust my work and they trust me as a human being which is important.
"My thoughts then went to my squad because at the end of the day they represent our ideal of football, they trust in what we are doing and the win was the cherry on the cake.”
Cioffi also paid tribute to the support of the fans, which helped fire his side into the third round.
“The first time I stepped inside The Peoples Pension Stadium I had the view to fill it up and get the crowd rocking.
"Last night I was really happy because when you are able to transform a vision into a reality, it's a great achievement. I’m a humble person and we have humble staff who believe in tears, blood and sweat and we enjoyed last night.”
Meet Italian Crawley manager Gabriele Cioffi. He played for Novara, Torino and was a coach at Birmingham in 2017 under Gianfranco Zola.— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) August 27, 2019
He's just masterminded The Reds win over Premier League Norwich, who are 64 places above them in the English pyramid. ???????????? pic.twitter.com/Xtck4DHoY5
In the aftermath of the match, Crawley tweeted a picture of Cioffi locked in conversation with Norwich head coach Daniel Farke. When probed on the topic of discussion between the pair, Cioffi told us:
“I said to him that I’ve been inspired from his experience at Norwich because his first season was difficult, but the board believed in his job and in the second season he was able to build his squad and be successful.
"To claim a win over a Premier League club has to be lucky and they have to underperform a bit, because they were missing their chances, while we had to overperform.
“That was the conversation. I wish him all the best for the league, which for Norwich I believe is the priority, and I’m sure they will do a good job.”
Cioffi’s Crawley are now nestled in the pot - ball number nine - for the third round alongside the likes of managerial giants Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino whose sides all enter the competition at this stage.
“It doesn’t matter who we face but whoever it will be we will challenge 100% to win with all our heart, passion, hardwork and fighting spirit as we showed against Norwich,” revealed Cioffi.
“If we are able to play an away game against a big club would be a good thing for the club. The staff, players and myself are all humble people so we know that our reality is League Two and we want to be as successful as possible, so the cup is an award for everyone at the club.
“It doesn’t matter who we meet but the 1% chance we have of going through the round we will fight until the death!”
Next up for 12th-placed Crawley is a league clash at home to Cheltenham who are a point and four places above them in the League Two table.
“Today (Wednesday) we are back into reality and the focus now is on preparing for Cheltenham at the weekend. We are taking the league game by game, our first step is to reach 50 points as soon as we can and make sure that we are still a League Two club next season. If we have time and games then we can try to dream.”
Cioffi also offered his condolences to everyone at Bury, who have been expelled by the EFL after the takeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk collapsed.
“I’m really sorry for what’s happened at Bury. I think everyone in football has lost a bit and I wish them all the best in the future to make a fast return to league football to sort all the problems and get back.”