Renzo Barbera, Italy

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Palermo v Sampdoria: Preview

Palermo head coach Gian Piero Gasperini has thrown the gauntlet down to his players, asking them to finally provide something for the fans to cheer about in tomorrow's early kick-off.

The ex-Inter Milan boss has certainly elicited some improved performances from the Rosaneri since replacing Giuseppe Sannino, but the Sicilians remain stranded in 19th place having conspired to win just one game so far.

Gasperini wants to see commitment across the squad, starting against Sampdoria tomorrow, having witnessed a swift decimation of his regular starters through injury.

Defender Andrea Mantovani is the latest player to enter the treatment room after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament last week, with striker Abel Hernandez having already suffered the same injury.

He told the Corriere dello Sport: ``The game against Samp will not be easy, even more so given the injury situation that doesn't let us choose our best players.

``I just can't have anyone here who turns their nose up at playing only 15 minutes, I've made it clear to all the players that they must give their all whenever they are called upon.''

A statistical quirk has given Gasperini food for thought, too, with the Rosanero yet to win a game that kicked off at lunchtime.

``We haven't coped well in the past,'' he added. ``But it's only been three years that we've had to play at midday and we'll get used to it.

``I know that the president is ready to invest in the squad and everybody here wants to get out of this slump.''

If Gasperini is starting to feel the pressure to deliver then he should spare a thought for tomorrow's counterpart, Ciro Ferrara.

The Samp boss, together with director of sport Pasquale Sensibile, received the dreaded vote of confidence this week, and there is little doubt that a point is the minimum requirement from the trip to Sicily.

Speaking about the duo, vice-president Edoardo Garrone told La Repubblica: ``No one has any doubts over their quality.

``When someone asks me to confirm the coach's position, I have to repeat every time that I have never considered that our problems are down to him.

``I'm absolutely convinced that we have the right coach and the right players to get out of this situation.''

The visitors have lost six games in a row and are beset by injuries, with Maxi Lopez undergoing knee surgery this week to join Gaetano Berardi, Nicola Pozzi and Andrea Poli on the sidelines.

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