Saturday Mar 25, 2017  
     
 
  18/07/2014: Auronzo di Cadore: Day 8
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For the first time in the pre-season programme so far, manager Stefano Pioli dedicates an entire session - the morning session - to athletic work. The players begin their morning in the gym and the team only emerge on the field shortly after 10am. Marchetti is already out there, having been asked to train on his own with the goalkeeping coach. Marchetti is afforded the opportunity to work individually with the goalkeeping coach as Berisha is struggling with a muscle in his leg, and it soon becomes clear that neither he or Konko - who missed yesterday evening's session - will take part in training this morning. Ederson does train, but once again, on his own.

Pioli tests the players speed, their reactions, and their ability to change direction quickly throughout the morning.

In the evening session, Berisha takes to the field with the goalkeeping coach, but he will not be able to participate in the session. Konko is now present.

Pioli begins the evening session by working on the players' basic technique, asking them to take a route to goal and forcing them to take on one of the goalkeepers. Then we have the evening match, the two teams beginning as follows;

Bibs (4-3-3): Marchetti; Basta, Cana, Ciani, Braafheid; Antic, Elez, Mauri; Pereirinha, Keita, Rozzi

Non-bibs (4-3-3): Strakosha; Konko, Novaretti, Filippini, Radu; Cataldi, Ledesma, Vinicus; Felipe Anderson, Djordjevic, Oikonomidis

Pioli made slight changes during the game. Konko was only given about 10 minutes before being hauled off for Cavanda. Konko stretched himself out, and 10 minutes later, Pioli reintroduced him for Cavanda and moved Cavanda onto the other team in place of Rozzi. Cavanda moved into the wing position, now supporting Keita who took on the role of the prima punta in Rozzi's absence. 

Keita was excellent in both roles, powering his side to a 3-0 victory, scoring one for himself, with Pereirinha and Mauri nabbing the others.

In his press conference today, captain Stefano Mauri said it was his mission to play well enough to make life difficult for new manager Pioli when it comes to selecting his team. Frankly, Mauri is not the only one giving Pioli a headache in pre-season.

Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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