Club Focus – Lecce – Salentini back in the groove as they head for a capital showdown

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It has been a fabulous week for the Giallorossi – the best of the season so far. After last weekend’s hard fought victory over Brescia, the club carried on their good form with a 3-2 win against Siena in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday night. Life is good in this part of Puglia at the moment and if they needed yet another boost on the eve of their trip to the capital to face crisis club Roma, then they got it as fan favourite Javier Chevanton grabbed his first goal after his much heralded return to the club.
The Uruguayan has been suffering from injury since returning to the Via del Mare but his goal against the Serie B side in the cup could be the catalyst that launches the little striker’s second spell with the club. Chevanton was absolutely delighted to be back in the goals again and speaking on the club’s official website after the game he described his feelings as he got his season off and running:, saying: “I want to thank all the players and the coach for the patience they have shown in me. To score a goal under the Curva Nord has given me so much joy and now we must look to Saturday’s match against Roma.” Asked if he though he was in with a chance of making the starting line-up for the game, the diminutive hit man replied: “I hope to play some part in the match but having only just returned to the first team I have to be patient. It is up to the coach at the end of the day.”
Luigi De Canio was also satisfied with the way his side played on Wednesday evening and with the contribution of Chevanton. He would not be drawn on whether he though the striker was ready for a starting berth at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday. De Canio stated: “Chevanton showed a good physical presence tonight but after such a long time out he needs to get up to full match fitness. Over the next couple of day’s I will assess his progress and we will see what happens.”
Another player on the score sheet on Wednesday was young striker Daniele Corvia. He was clearly relishing the challenge of playing Roma on Saturday saying: “It will be a big moment playing against a great side like Roma. At this moment I am feeling strong and happy with my game and I believe we can take all three points from the match. Our team is growing all the time and we are looking to move up the table quickly.”
Nobody would have predicted that going into match day nine, the Salentini would be ahead of Roma in the table – the Puglian’s find themselves in tenth spot on 11 points whilst their more illustrious hosts are four places behind with nine points. The squad went through a light training session on Thursday morning ahead of their Friday departure to the capital. Big Norwegian defender Tore Reginiussen and Brazilian full-back Fabiano were absent from the main group but the good news for De Canio is that his injury list is diminishing rapidly. The squad will also go through a behind closed doors training session on Friday morning at the Via del Mare before boarding their flight for Rome. The man in the middle on Saturday evening will be Andrea Gervasoni from Mantova.
It’s been another mixed week for the club’s Primavera side. After last Saturday’s 2-0 win against Palermo in the league, Guido Di Fabio’s youngsters crashed out of the Coppa Italia going down 2-3 against a strong Roma side. After the first leg, the Salentini were still in the tie having narrowly lost 2-1 in the capital, but two first-half strikes from the visitors put the tie out of reach despite a stirring comeback in the second period by the hosts. Filippo Falco and Leandro Rizzo were on target for Di Fabio’s team. It was another good week for the club’s other junior teams, the Allievi Nazionale thrashed Reggina 4-0 whilst the Giovanissimi Nazionale got a creditable 0-0 draw against the same opposition. The Allievi Regionale hammered Uxentum Calcio 6-0 whilst the Giovanissimi Regionale beat Sud Calcio Salento 5-1. Finally, the Giovanissimi Provinciali beat Soccer Green Surbo by the odd goal in a 4-3 thriller.
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