PORDENONE. He is proving it again this season. When he is needed, the answer is: present. With that load of experience, wisdom and technical skills that knows no age. Although the registry says that in just over a month Mirko Stefani will be 38 years old.
In truth, no one has noticed his identity card, which is no longer green in football, in the 90 ‘recently played by the defender, as well as captain of Pordenone, in the recent trip to Frosinone.
In which only a mockery goal in late recovery prevented the neroverdi from obtaining a prestigious victory, as well as precious in the run-up to salvation.
A mission in which Stefani still believes. Because the victory against Alessandria and Benevento’s good performance, however conditioned, for the final result, by that blackout which cost two goals in quick succession, have strengthened the concept: Pordenone is alive. The green lizard will sell its skin dearly.
As promised to do also on Saturday, in the presence of an opponent who evokes illustrious precedents, that is a playoff semifinal in Serie C and a sort of “playoff” salvation last season in B.
Captain Stefani, a game that is perhaps more special than the others is therefore on its way. And not just for ranking reasons.
«The precedents with Cosenza arouse strong emotions, it’s true. But the present counts. On Saturday we expect a large audience participation: first of all we will have to involve those present. We know that the fans are with us, they reiterated it, and I thank them on behalf of the whole team, even at the end of the match in Benevento ».
The last match with Cosenza, in May, was played without an audience due to the pandemic. How much do you earn to get your support back in the stands?
«Just thinking back to the fact that until a few months ago we played behind closed doors makes us sad. Cheering, and I often remember it with pleasure, is the essence of football and sport in general, because we play with the intention of transmitting emotions. But it is also the emotions we receive that allow us to give our best on the pitch for our colors. Also for this reason, I repeat, I expect a great participation on Saturday. To succeed in the enterprise that we have set ourselves, and which at this moment may seem like a chimera (but it is not), we need the support of our fans ».
How did the team metabolize the defeat of Benevento, which came at the end of a still comforting performance?
«In fact the team played well in Benevento. The performance was there. And it was also remarked by those 19 loyalists who followed us in the stands and whom I was able to personally thank. I think that both those who went as far as the Vigorito and those who followed us from home were able to appreciate our desire and our determination. Let’s not give up. Indeed, we believe in it more and more ».
Despite that last place, although now to be shared with Vicenza, always remind everyone that the path is still long and full of pitfalls.
“We can’t afford any kind of mistake right now. We are aware of this. But pressure doesn’t have to be seen as a negative aspect. In our case it can represent an additional stimulus, both individually and collectively, to train ourselves better and better ».
So will the results also come?
«It would be important to find some continuity. Even at the point level. It would give confidence to the whole environment. And to us first of all ».
Could it be a match with Cosenza similar to the one with Alessandria?
«We will find another team embroiled in the fight not to be relegated. And who, like us, is experiencing some difficulties. But I believe that more than our opponents we have to take care of ourselves. If we manage to do what we are meticulously trying in training with the coach, everything could become easier ». It is difficult for others.
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