Serse Cosmi senses that Lecce are on the brink of a comeback comparable to that he witnessed first hand some eight years ago.
The baseball cap-wearing Coach believes that his current side is capable of a recovery in the second half of the season similar to that both Lecce and Cosmi’s former club Perugia managed in 2003-04.
This declaration follows the Salentini’s surprise 1-0 win away to Fiorentina last weekend. The side are six points adrift of safety after 18 matches played.
Back in 2004, both Lecce and Perugia were in the bottom three after the first round of League fixtures that season, but Lecce, then under Delio Rossi, and Perugia under Cosmi, both earned a high number of points in the second half of the season.
The Giallorossi comfortably survived, whilst Perugia only went down after losing a one-off relegation play-off with Fiorentina.
“We have hopes of recovery,” Cosmi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The frustration has increased the players’ self-motivation, because we have been punished after a certain level of performance.
“We should have three points more - we lost at least two in Parma and one against Lazio and Juventus.
“We can only save ourselves through playing. Lecce has a lot of quality, exceeding the typical level typical of a team in the relegation zone.”
“In the second round of fixtures [in 2004], Lecce under Rossi earned 29 points, my Perugia earned 22. I do not place restrictions on this group, even if they are not equal to the team back then under Delio.
“Losing in Florence we would have died. Even with so many absences the team surprised me. I feared they would be demolished for another undeserved defeat.
“I think the relegation fight is between the current bottom five teams. I don’t think there will be another Sampdoria this year. Palermo and Fiorentina will stay out of risk.”