Valero surprised by Montella axing

Fiorentina midfielder Borja Valero admitted he was shocked the club decided to part ways with coach Vincenzo Montella.

Fiorentina's decision to sack Vincenzo Montella surprised Borja Valero, though the Spanish midfielder is enjoying the opportunity to work with new coach Paulo Sousa.

Montella was dismissed last month after failing to recommit his future to the Serie A club, and he was replaced by former Basel coach Sousa.

Valero, who followed Montella through the door in Florence in 2012, was asked about the 41-year-old Italian's departure and said: "We were surprised.

"That's football. Things change. We have a new coach, so we'll see. Mr Sousa is very expressive, he speaks a lot in training.

"There have been so many changes compared to what we were doing with Montella. There are differences, we're training hard, there's still a long way to go until the start of the season.

"We have to do better [than last season] and obviously we'll need a bit of luck."