Tuesday February 8 2011
Ferrara counts on Santon and Macheda

Italy Under-21 boss Ciro Ferrara is counting on Davide Santon and Federico Macheda to perform in today's friendly against England in Empoli.

Ferrara is keen to build on the 2-1 win his side recorded against Turkey in his first game in charge.

"The transfer market has changed the geography a little," he said. "Some players who had space in their teams will now perhaps have to work a little harder to find it. But anyway we are satisfied with this group.

"There is a need to gain experience and a game like this against England, who will participate in the next European Championship, is a test that we take very seriously when one thinks that they are a bigger team than us in terms of average age and experience."

Asked about Santon, who left Inter to join Cesena on loan in January, Ferrara said: "He is a top quality player, but now he must also show it on the pitch. He earned fame too quickly. It was really too soon for him at 17. But he is someone who I count on a lot. I have spoken about him with Cesare Prandelli in order to understand whether he can be our captain."

As for Macheda, he said: "The return to Italy has been important for him. It's doesn't make a difference for me if you play abroad. Youngsters must only play," he concluded.  

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