APPIANO GENTILE – Technical assistant Mario Cecchi has lifted the lid on what goes on behind the scenes at the training ground. In an exclusive interview with Inter TV, the coach revealed what it's like working with Simone Inzaghi, the importance of bonding as a team in pre-season, and what he feels are the key attributes any self-respecting team needs.
What are the main areas you work on in training?
“I help prepare training sessions with the coach. Together with the other staff, we discuss what we want to achieve in each session and that week, bearing in mind the next opponents we have to play.”
You've known Inzaghi for a long time. How did you start working together?
“I've been working with Simone for five years now – we started at Lazio. I worked in Empoli's youth academy for ten years and we'd often cross paths at Primavera level. He won some and I won some and we ended up becoming friends. We did a course together at Coverciano and exchanged our views on football. Then when he got the first-team job at Lazio, he called me and asked me to join him. That's how it started.”
How important is this stage of pre-season for bonding as a team?
“We're trying to get to know the players as best we can because you have to know them inside out before you can work with them properly. We're learning about their skills and attributes, their personalities, the way they work. We're adapting to them too because we have to work in unison.”
What is one attribute you consider to be fundamental in a team?
“I think the ability to focus is really important. Great teams are capable of focusing over time. Staying focused from the first to the last minute is paramount because I see the match as two games in one: the first 60 minutes and the last 30 minutes, when certain situations often turn out to be more decisive than in the first hour.”
What are you expecting from this season?
“I want to work well with the team, build a good relationship with the players and be there for them when they need us. I hope we find the motivation we need to achieve great results. This squad certainly has the ability because they won the title last season, and deservedly so. We must work hard to pursue our goals.”