Luca Toni: Hellas Verona deserve to be relegated from Serie A
Hellas Verona forward Luca Toni says his side do not even deserve to be in Serie A, branding them "a joke" as they slipped closer towards relegation with a 2-1 defeat at home to Carpi on Sunday.
With eight games of the season remaining, Verona find themselves nine points from safety at the bottom of the table, but their performances and results have already convinced last season's Serie A top scorer that relegation looks to be inevitable.
"We've made too many mistakes," he told reporters. "There is still hope, but when you lose against all your nearest rivals, then it becomes hard still to believe.
"We've shown all of our limits and certainly this is not our year. We don't deserve [to be in] this league. My goals [last season] certainly helped, but we were always a long way from relegation danger and when you're in a relegation battle, it's harder and we've just shown we can't cope with it.
"We were a joke and we deserve the whistles. All we can do now is honour the shirts we are wearing."
The next eight games could be the last of the 38-year-old's career.
"I don't want to think about June yet," he said. "It's been a very difficult year and we just need to focus on what we've got left to play for."
That does not amount to too much in the eyes of coach Luigi Delneri, who has all but accepted that his side are going down.
"[Luca] Toni's right -- I don't think we're rubbish, but we didn't play the way we could today and we've got problems," he is quoted as saying by La Repubblica. "If we're at the very bottom, then there has got to be a reason for it.
"We're only arithmetically still safe, but I think this was the decisive game for Verona's future at this level. We now have a duty to honour our fans and play as well as we can against everybody we face to see if we can pull off a miracle. That's going to be our objective to the end."