Montella urges Fiorentina to bounce back

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella has urged his players to forget their weekend setback and focus on Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg at Udinese.

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella has urged his players to put their weekend setback behind them and focus on Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg at Udinese.

The Viola suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at struggling Cagliari on Saturday to see their six-match unbeaten run in Serie A come to an end.

The result left Fiorentina fourth in the standings, three points behind Napoli, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

"Against Cagliari we didn't play to the standard we are used to," Montella said. "We didn't make the most of our chances and Cagliari deserved the win.

"Those that played should have done better.

"There are things we need to work on.

"Sometimes defeats are healthy in order to put things right and I hope this will be the case.

"I expect a reaction from my players in Udine."

Fiorentina have not won the Italian Cup since the 2000/01 campaign and expects no favours from an Udinese side that eliminated Inter Milan and AC Milan to reach the last four of the competition.

"It's going to be a difficult game," Montella said. "Udinese are playing at home and we need to be extremely focused from start to finish."

Udinese, who travel to Florence for the return leg on February 11, have never lifted the Coppa.

They go into the encounter at the Friuli stadium with confidence boosted after ending a four-match losing streak in Serie A with a 2-0 triumph at Bologna.

The victory lifted Francesco Guidolin's side to 14th in the standings, five points clear of the drop zone.

"We really needed that victory after our poor run of form," Guidolin said. "It was important to climb up in the standings and to produce a good performance away from home.

"Now we return to Udine hoping to build on this result and looking for another good performance against Fiorentina."

Udinese edged Fiorentina 1-0 in Udine earlier this season in the league.

Fiorentina midfielder Juan Guillermo Cuadrado is expected to start having been rested at the weekend.

The hosts will be bolstered by the return of midfielders Gabriel Silva and Widmer, both sidelined through injuries at the weekend, while goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic could be available again after a back problem.

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