Sunday November 14 2010
Rossi keeps focus on Sicilian derby

Delio Rossi must do without some of his star players in the Sicilian derby and tries to shield Palermo from the news the club is up for sale.

After the 3-1 defeat to Milan on Wednesday evening, President Maurizio Zamparini announced he was selling the club as he was so “disgusted” by refereeing decisions.

“Can we hit the reset button after Zamparini's words? I came here to talk about the game and only the game,” said Rossi in his Press conference.

“His comments cannot influence us, as the situation does not change right now. The derby is an important game for our fans and the two matches against Catania are like another season in themselves. All external factors will be cancelled out during the 90 minutes.”

Both Palermo and Catania are currently locked together on 14 points, so there is more than mere local pride at stake.

“The table is still evolving and if we looked at our position this time last season, we'd have been heading for relegation. The standings only really start to make sense in March. Besides, we are challenging ourselves and not Catania.”

Rossi has injury problems to contend with, as star player Javier Pastore is highly unlikely to feature due to a right knee injury.

The Coach has called everyone up for this match, including Fabio Liverani and Abel Hernandez despite their injuries.

“Pastore is not in good shape and it's unlikely he will play, while there is the possibility of getting Mauricio Pinilla back. Fabrizio Miccoli is not at his best either, but some players really raise their game on the big occasion. He can make the difference.

“The derby fires you up and I don't need to get the players any more excited than they already are. I don't want to distract them with other factors.

“There is always one opponent that you really want to beat more than any other, the one that gets on your nerves. It's even stronger when the teams are in the same city, but coming to Palermo the first thing I was asked was to win the derby,” added Rossi.

“I can't promise I will dive into the fountain like I did when Lazio won the Rome derby, though!”

Palermo squad: Benussi, Brichetto, Sirigu; Balzaretti, Bovo, Cassani, Darmian, Garcia, Goian, Glik, Munoz; Bacinovic, Ilicic, Kasami, Joao Pedro, Liverani, Migliaccio, Nocerino, Pastore, Rigoni; Hernandez, Maccarone, Miccoli, Pinilla

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