The importance of pre-season lies in ensuring that nothing is left to chance when competitive action begins. From formations to team shapes, from corner routines to penalty kicks, from recovery processes to training regimens, everything is discussed threadbare. When not presented with adequate time for all these, even the best of managers feel short-changed. Here Chenniayin FC manager Marco Materazzi speaks to Sportstar about his team’s stint in Italy, something that circumstances denied him last season.

On the pre-season

One of the reasons why we went to Perugia, Italy, was because of the nice climate. I felt players would risk muscular injuries by training in humid conditions. There were good facilities also and the quality of opposition was better. Working on the prevention of injuries has been an important aspect. Last year we suffered too many injuries and eventually missed out on a place in the final. Hopefully this pre-season will help us keep the squad fit for most of the season. The overall quality in the team is better than last year so if we can keep everybody fit we can have a successful season.

On the progress of Indian players

Technically and physically I think all my Indian players are at a very good level. But tactically they have room for improvement. We have been working on that and they will be ready by the time we play our first game.

On the pre-season matches

I learnt a lot more about my players. I tried out almost everybody. We are now looking forward.