Monday, 25 May 2009

Poor start cost Lecce

Lecce coach Luigi De Canio blames poor results in the first half of the season for his team's relegation from Serie A.

LecceSunday's 1-1 draw against Fiorentina saw the Salentini demoted to the second tier after just one year back in the top flight.

The outcome left De Canio's side four points adrift of the last position of safety with one match remaining.

"We have nothing to feel sorry about," said De Canio. "I believe we have honoured the tournament until the end.

"In recent games we played well and kept our hopes of avoiding the drop alive.

"But the results of the first half of the season really hurt the team and we have been unable to save ourselves."

The Salentini did come mighty close to taking their survival bid to the final day as they looked to have secured all three points against Fiorentina thanks to a Simone Tiribocchi goal.

But a last-minute equaliser from Fiorentina's Martin Jorgensen sealed Lecce's fate.

"We were unlucky," said De Canio. "We gave a goal away deep in stoppage time and that was that. But this is life."

Lecce have struggled to adapt to Serie A football, managing only five wins and slipping to 15 defeats in 37 games.

They have the leakiest defence in the competition with 63 goals conceded.

Club President Giovanni Semeraro has apologised to the fans for his failure to bring in reinforcements in the winter transfer window.

"With respect to past seasons, this time I could not make any big signings," he said. "Now we have to start our planning for next season and we hope De Canio will remain at the club.

"There's a 55% chance he will, as we would like him to stay on but the remaining 45% is down to the coach's decision."

De Canio, who joined Lecce in March, has already expressed his wish to stay at the club.

"I don't have a problem coaching in Serie B," he said. "I am available to guide the club next season."

[Lecce relegated]

Source: Sporting Life

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