Catania boss Rolando Maran has called on his relegation-threatened team to “make him proud” by turning in a solid display against league leaders Juventus on Sunday night in Sicily.
The 50-year-old, who returned to the Rossazzurri dugout to head up a survival mission after previously being dismissed in October 2013, has been unable to reverse the trend thus far and currently sees his side languishing at the foot of the table.
But with ten games remaining and only four points separating Catania and 17th placed Livorno, he has challenged his men to kick-start their season tomorrow evening by springing an upset against an outfit placed 55 points above them.
Speaking to the media in Sicily, Maran said: “We need to play an intense match because otherwise, looking at the difference between the two sides, it will be extremely difficult for us. I want to be proud of my lads when leaving the field tomorrow night.”
“We know all about Juve’s strengths and they are by far and away the stronger side. Looking at the table the game would appear to be over before it’s even been played. The good thing about football, however, is that it enables you to defy the odds.”
“We’re convinced that our stadium will be able to lend us a hand. We’ll require the support of our public and we need to get them onside by showing the right attitude on the pitch.”
The scintillating form of Andrea Pirlo will no doubt have been taken into account by Maran when assembling his battle plan, but he insists the Bianconeri are capable of causing danger all over the park, with or without specific measures imposed on the midfield maestro.
He concluded: “Stopping Pirlo isn't enough to get a result. Juventus have won both with and without a man-marker on him. We’ll need plenty of bodies and balance to plug the gaps. There are many aspects to bear in mind.”