Delio Rossi has leapt to the defence of Palermo starlet Javier Pastore. “He's less sharp than usual, but will be great against Bari.”
El Flaco was the hero of their early season form, but in recent weeks has struggled to make an impact.
“It can happen over the course of a season to be less sharp than usual, so when you get like that it can be tempting to get pig-headed and try overly complex tricks,” said the Coach.
“It's often the case with young players and they need time to achieve that maturity. In any case, I think Flaco will be great against Bari, as you can tell he's very motivated.
“He's still only 21 and already mature for his age, but we are talking about a player who has grown exponentially. People try to say he's the heir of all sorts of legends, but the moment he doesn't make the difference those same sources criticise him.
“I am proud to think part of his growth has been down to my work. I love this part of the sport. If I always wanted to train fully-grown champions, I'd bang my fists on the transfer table a lot more.”
Bari are propping up the table and in shocking shape, but Rossi won't take anything for granted.
“It's a crucial game for us regardless of who we are facing. A year that has seen us impress beyond expectations means we want to close it on a high. That's where you can see the strength and quality of a side.”