The coach knows that the team cannot afford breaks “We will not have to repeat the 11 mistakes of the 1st set with Cuneo”
Almost halfway through the seasonal journey, the Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano is on the threshold of another high-intensity appointment.
The Final Four of the Italian Cup on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 at the Palasport in Rome, formerly PalaEur or PalaLottomatica, was already on the agenda from the beginning of the season. The trophy this year was brought forward by about a month and placed, at least on paper, between the end of the first round and the beginning of the second leg of the championship. Covid has put a hand in it, leading to the postponement, for the moment, of nine games of the top flight between the regular season and the Cup. One is recovered today (Scandicci-Busto) and will define the opponent of the panthers in the semifinal the day after tomorrow at 16.
Despite having the obvious advantage of having had three more days to prepare for the match, the Gialloblù team will have a few hours to tactically prepare for the match. «We adapt – says Daniele Santarelli – and we understand that this situation is particular for everyone. We are training these days, but I cannot give precise indications on the race. We will do it between tomorrow and Wednesday morning. Regarding the return to 35% in the next few days, I must say that we are very sorry, but it is clear that with the rise of the infections something had to be done. I really hope it’s the last time ».
The coach is aware that he cannot afford any pause for reflection during the trip to Rome. «The eleven mistakes in the first set against Cuneo are enormous and it would have been enough to limit them to five or six. I had to encourage the team with strong tones and there was a reaction. Then we squandered the advantage by making other stupid mistakes, without having patience, wanting to close the shots ”.
This is not a novelty in the panthers’ history, albeit greatly victorious, of the last years. Too “soft” beginnings of the race or drops in concentration were paired with the always high determination of those who want to try to beat the champions, playing with a clear head. «I understand that girls can’t always keep the bar at the highest level. Unfortunately it is a situation that cannot be trained and that occurs only in the race. There are technical and tactical indications to follow, which in my opinion can make up for a mental deficiency. Surely the biggest mistake is underestimating the opponents, as we did in the first set with Cuneo. I think that in the semifinal in Rome the stimuli will be easier to find ».
Fahr’s return is now only a couple of months away, however crucial for the development of the Champions League and the championship. The rest of the team is overall in good shape. “In December we spent a lot of mental energy, as well as physical ones. In recent days we have trained very well taking advantage of the days available and now we have to keep this level until May. Now I have more cards to choose from, it’s a difficulty I prefer to having the short team. After the Coppa Italia there will be a long period in which we will not have trophies up for grabs. We will have to keep pushing, smoothing out the mistakes we are making, to be really at our best when the races that really matter arrive ».