Massimo confident of success
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Massimo Maccarone has told skysports.com that he is confident of success with Middlesbrough.
The Italian says that he is steadily adapting to life in England, after a troubled first campaign in The Premiership, and is ready to kick-start his season against Newcastle United a week on Saturday.
Maccarone has been sidelined since damaging his ankle in July, but is raring to go after coming through two reserve games.
"I'll be back against Newcastle," Maccarone told skysports.com. "I feel good now.
"I have played two matches with the reserves and they went well, so I'm ready to play."
Maccarone added that he feels settled at Boro and wants to repay the club for the faith they have shown in him.
"I am starting to feel better in England," said Maccarone. "Unfortunately the beginning of the season started badly with the injury but I hope to recover my form as soon as possible.
"Last year there were a few problems with the language, but my English has improved and everything is better.
"I am happy to stay here and am happy to have signed my long contract because I know Middlesbrough will do well.
"It probably won't happen this year, but in the near future. Anyway, I hope we can play in the Uefa Cup."
The marksman is looking forward to the prospect of playing with Boro's two loan signings, Boudewijn Zenden and Gaizka Mendieta.
"There arrivals make me want to come back quicker," he enthused. "They are two big players who have played at high levels. They will be important for us.
"I have a fantastic rapport with the supporters. They back me.
"When I was injured, when they saw me, they showed their support."
Maccarone burst onto the international scene for Italy two years ago, but has fallen by the wayside recently.
However, he has not given up hope of representing the Azzurri at next summer's European Championships.
"The thought of the national team is always in the minds of players," he added. "And I am very keen on it.
"I know I must play well, which will give (Giovanni) Trapattoni a decision to make for the European Championships.
"All I can do is try my best."