Vincenzo Montella is confident he will not wilt under the pressure at Fiorentina despite one win in their last five Serie A games.
The former Italy international has come in for criticism from some sections of the club's support in recent weeks as they have slipped down the league table.
Defeat to Napoli before the international break saw Fiorentina drop into the bottom half, but coach Montella believes he can turn their fortunes around, starting at Verona on Sunday.
"The team is just as motivated as I am, with hunger, confidence and a great deal of determination," said Montella. "There is cohesion and we want to recover from this difficult moment.
"We are fired up. This is an important match to test our ambitions. Proving ourselves a great squad amid difficulties has to motivate us even further.
"I haven't read the criticism, but it is to be accepted. I have grown as a coach in this period, because my mind has been focused on what to do in order to emerge from this moment."
Montella is set to give Germany international Mario Gomez his first league start since September in the clash and the head coach is hoping he can end his eight-month goal drought.
"He will play from the start," he said of the 29-year-old. "We'll see for how long.
"He is in great shape, better than I'd ever seen him before. He is one of those strong players who can haul the team up the table."comments