Del Neri talks Samp past, Genoa future
Luigi Del Neri confessed to holding out for a year for the chance to guide Genoa, with the veteran coach promising to lead the Serie A club to a bright future.
Rossoblu president Enrico Preziosi was quick to install the 62-year-old as Luigi De Canio's replacement on Monday, unconcerned that his new man was the former boss of Genoa's fierce rivals Sampdoria. But Del Neri - who left Juventus last summer following a disappointing campaign - insisted his true loyalty was always to the Ligurian city itself.
At his unveiling in Pegli, he told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "Genoa is a great place and there is every chance that we can be successful here. We want to bring in good results and start laying the foundations for years to come.
"I promised Preziosi that I wouldn't go anywhere. I waited for a year and now here I am. After a year without coaching, I was keen to get back in the game.
"We can't forget the past. My season with Samp was an important one in my career but now both parties have chosen different paths. I never considered turning Genoa down. I know the Rossoblu fans well and I'm sure there will be a good relationship between us."
De Canio's dismissal came as the result of a lacklustre start to the new season, the surrendering of a two-goal lead at home to Roma on Sunday proving to be the final straw for Preziosi. But Saturday's trip to AC Milan could be a rough introduction to life in the Genoa hot-seat as Del Neri looks to both tweak a misfiring forward line and shore up his defence.
"We won't deviate from playing with four at the back because that gives us the most security," Del Neri added. "There's a lot of attention paid to defences in Serie A but I don't really like thinking about formations, but about organisation.
"We won't overhaul everything straight away as we've only just got here, but we do need to change the road we are going down. When everybody is fit and available for Genoa there is a squad of real quality here. [Marco] Borriello, [Alexander] Merkel, [Jan] Kucka and [Ciro] Immobile are fantastic players. [Cristobal] Jorquera can be a real handful to play against."
Club president Preziosi added: "Del Neri is the right man.
"There is an affinity and mutual respect between us. I'm extremely convinced with the choice I've made. Our objective is to secure our survival and then in January we'll dip into the transfer market."