Monday December 27 2010
Prandelli: '2011 for Balo and Cassano'

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli looks at his first few months in charge and hopes “2011 can be the year of Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano.”

The tactician took charge after Marcello Lippi's side crashed out of the World Cup in South Africa in the first round.

“So far the overall balance has been positive, considering the way we started with scepticism and depression after the World Cup failure,” Prandelli told RAI Sport.

“We tried to create enthusiasm and I think the people responded well. This was the aspect I cared about the most.

“In spring I hope to field those players who in my view can bring the right quality to the squad.”

Among the talents on Prandelli's list is Manchester City striker Balotelli.

“I hope 2011 can be the year of Balotelli and that he finds the consistency a 20-year-old lad needs.

“His behaviour on the pitch must be exemplary and his attitude perfect.”

The Italy Coach welcomed Cassano back into the international fold, but he'll be frozen out until February following a row with Sampdoria and now aims to revive his career yet again at Milan.

“Cassano is going through a difficult time. I am certain that once on the pitch, he will prove his worth and will certainly be called up. I said I would never abandon him and I keep that pledge.”

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