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Cioffi sat down with Craig Bratt to talk about his first week at the Broadfield Stadium.

17 September 2018

This was originally published in the match day programme for Saturday's game with Morecambe.

Gabriele, you’ve now been at the club for a week. How are you settling in?

I was made to feel very welcome from off when I arrived, and everyone here has been absolutely brilliant to me. Everyone in the office and in the team around me has so far supported all my needs and I am really pleased with how things are going. The response from the players, who have had a tough few weeks, is fantastic and I am sure their positive attitudes will continue.

How was your first week of training been?

Our first session was on Monday at Oakwood, and all of the players were great. It was only a light session as I wanted to ease the boys into my style of coaching, and I think they reacted well. I really like Oakwood, and I think this is where the team will be able to be most successful. I know the club has had issues with a training ground before but I want to stay at Oakwood, as it is a brilliant place from what I have seen. I think from seeing what I did at Lincoln last weekend, and from the training sessions this week that I have an idea of the team I will select for the Morecambe game.

How pleased were you with the performance of the team at Lincoln City last Saturday?

Lincoln was a really impressive performance, and I pleased that I am able to take over a side that already has so much strength in certain areas, and the ability to grind out results. Although the goal was an own goal, I was impressed with the move that create that chance. The way the team defended in difficult circumstances was really pleasing, and credit must go to Jimmy Smith who managed the team really well. The red card for Lincoln actually made things harder for us because it gave them more impetus. Their fans also really got behind them after that, so we must be delighted with the three points.

You’ve now got two more bodies in your coaching staff. You must be really happy to have the experience of Jimmy and Nathan?

I am obviously disappointed that Jimmy is injured long term, because I have already seen that he can be an influential player for us. Having him on the coaching team is a massive bonus because he knows this squad better than anyone and he will be a huge help. Nathan is someone I know really well and he has got the experience that will be vital to taking this team forward. He has already given me some vital ideas that has helped me prepare the team for Morecambe. I really believe that we can be successful with the two of them beside me.

What can you take from your time at Birmingham City where you worked under Gianfranco Zola?

Working under Zola taught me a lot about English football because it was my first experience of football over here. Obviously things did not work out as we had hoped at Birmingham, but I can say that I am a different type of coach now than I was back then. When we were there, we would go and watch a lot of games, and I had been to Crawley a couple of times to study football at the lower level. I watched League Two and League One football, as well as Premier League and Championship, so I’ve seen lots of sides of the game over here. I know what I am letting myself in for and I relish the challenge.

What can we expect from you on the touchline?

I am passionate and I am a winner, and I think you will see that from me. I will be kicking every ball with the players, and I will want the players to know that. If something doesn’t go our way, I think everyone will know about that too, because I want to win. I believe that if the players think the same way as me then this team will be successful, and I hope that starts today with Morecambe.

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