Devis Mangia was catapulted from the Palermo youth team to facing Inter tonight. “We'll bring enthusiasm back.”
The chaotic summer in Sicily saw Stefano Pioli sacked on September 1, Delio Rossi reject a call to return, so youth team Coach Mangia was promoted at very short notice.
“I could've been in charge of the Inter youth team, as I was in the running for that job, but will find myself involved in a very different situation,” said the 37-year-old.
“I asked for the lads to work with me and they did. I am not emotional or nervous. We're working hard every day and I am consumed by what happens in training.
“Perhaps I'll start to feel that anxiety only when we step on to the pitch. Is it the most important game of my career? Yes, because the next one always is.”
Mangia effectively has nothing to lose, as welcoming giants Inter to the Stadio Barbera is a tough task for any Coach, let alone one in these circumstances.
“We've got to play with great intensity and run harder than Inter. We can make mistakes, as those are inevitable, but maintain the right attitude and I'm sure that will be the case.”
Ticket sales for this game have been sluggish, as Palermo fans stay away in protest at the dramatic summer under President Maurizio Zamparini.
“I don't feel that I should ask the fans for anything, because it's up to us to inspire them. Pessimism helps nobody. I can say we'll try to bring enthusiasm back to Palermo. There are no seasonal objectives, as now our only thought is taking on Inter.”
Mangia has said he'll adopt a 4-4-2 system, which could see Abel Hernandez and Fabrizio Miccoli up front.
Palermo squad: Benussi, Brichetto, Tzorvas; Aguirregaray, Balzaretti, Cetto, Mantovani, Munoz, Pisano, Silvestre; Acquah, Alvarez, Bacinovic, Barreto, Bertolo, Della Rocca, Ilicic, Migliaccio, Lores, Zahavi; Hernandez, Miccoli, Pinilla