x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Bari's coach buoyant after extension

Giampiero Ventura goes into this evening's Serie A game at relegation-threatened Catania having signed a new deal with the Galletti this week.

Giampiero Ventura, the Bari coach, goes into this evening's Serie A game at relegation-threatened Catania in a buoyant mood having signed a new deal with the Galletti this week. Ventura has led his team to 11th in the table, nine points clear of the drop zone with 13 matches remaining. "I am very happy with the trust the club have placed in me," he said. "I see this contract extension as a reward for the work done so far and as an extra motivation to guide Bari to finish as high as possible in the standings."

Following the promotion last summer, Bari appointed Ventura to replace Antonio Conte. His efforts have been rewarded with a new 12-month deal and he is now aiming to continue the team's progress. Catania saw their five-match unbeaten run come to an end in last Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Roma, but despite that decent run, they are just a point above the relegation places. "My players' performance was good [against Roma] and there is no reason why we cannot take a result against Bari," said Sinisa Mihajlovic, the Catania manager.

In today's other Serie A match, it is essential for Fiorentina to stop their awful run of league form if they are to have any chance of repeating last season's fourth-place finish. The Viola have won just one of their past seven games and go into today's match at Lazio in 10th place, seven points behind fourth-placed Juventus and 16 behind Roma, who are third. @Email:akunawicz@thenational.ae Sebastien Frey profile, s10

Catania v Bari, 9pm , Aljazeera Sport +1