After a hard fought 1-1 draw at the Stadio Via Del Mare on Wednesday night against Parma, Lecce coach Luigi De Canio was relatively satisfied with his teams performance. He stated “to concede a late goal like we did is very bitter but from what I have seen tonight we are progressing well. In the first-half we played at our optimum level and overall, I feel we deserved to win the game”. De Canio opted for a 4-3-1-2 formation with David Di Michele partnering Jeda in attack and the brilliant Argentine playmaker Ignacio Piatti playing just behind them. Daniele Corvia had to settle for a place on the bench yet again.
The salentini were good value for their half-time lead thanks to the new Brazilian summer signing Jeda’s 32nd minute penalty. After the break, a Hernan Crespo inspired Parma levelled the contest 20 minutes from time but De Canio’s men are still unbeaten in their opening two home fixtures. Having started the campaign in the most difficult of circumstances away to Milan before welcoming Fiorentina to Puglia for their opening home fixture followed by an away trip to Cesena, De Canio feels qualified to give his early assessment of how the championship is shaping up “I believe that this season there is more equality in Serie A and that is a good. The league is more competitive this year”.
One thing that has been a problem in for the club in their opening two home fixtures is the lack of atmosphere inside the stadium. This is partly due to the hardcore tifosi refusing to get behind the club in protest over the authorities decision to issue identity cards to allow supporters to travel to away games. De Canio used the post match press conference to explain his annoyance “on Sunday in Cesena we played with 11 against their 10 but still lost the match. The home supporters made incessant noise and without doubt this gave their players a lift. Our players feel that the silence in the stands at the Via Del Mare is aimed at them and we hope our supporters will decide to help the squad by giving us their backing next time”.
Club President Pierandrea Semeraro has also commented on last Sunday’s extraordinary case of mistaken identity in the club’s game at Cesena. The home side’s midfield player Giuseppe Colucci was dismissed by referee Gianluca Rocchi instead of Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo. He also hit back at accusations from Cesena President Igor Campedelli that his players used intimidating tactics on the officials at the end of the first-half by announcing that “I can categorically confirm that none of our players put any pressure on referee Rocchi to get Colucci dismissed and would also like to state that contrary to statements made by president Campedelli, we did not use any intimidation tactics on the officials at half-time. We have to except that the referee is a human being and mistakes can be made”.
This weekend, De Canio takes his team to Sicily to face Palermo who will hope to have former Lecce hero Fabrizio Miccoli in their starting line-up. The little jack in a box striker was born in the city and still hopes to end his career at the Via Del Mare. The tifosi will be all too aware of his striking prowess and after two defeats on the road it is vitally important that the club start to pick up points away from the comforts of their home surroundings. It seems that the Coach will again be without the services of striker Javier Chevanton who is still receiving therapy on his injured right knee.
Meanwhile, away from top-flight action, new Primavera Coach Guido Di Fabio made a successful start to the season when his youngsters beat Frosinone 2-1 in the opening round of the Primavera TIM Cup. Two goals from Luigi Falcone in the opening ten minutes of the game gave his side victory. In the Primavera championship, Di Fabio’s men started off with a convincing 3-1 win at home to Napoli before succumbing to a humbling 4-1 defeat at Reggina on match day two. This weekend, the squad is on the road again with a tricky fixture at Ascoli.